When allowed to change from muscle to meat, its pH level drops from 6.8 to 5.4, which enhances its safety
You are probably one of those people who order cut and bloody meat hanging in the butchery, believing it to be the best. A few hours later, you complain that the meat on the table is too tough and you are convinced that something is wrong with local meat. But your choice of what you believed was quality meat is to blame, as most Kenyanseat animal muscles instead of meat.
Prof Erastus Kang’ethe. a food safety expert, explained all this at an event preceding the launch of the country’s first meat expo at the Kenya Meat Commission headquarters in Athi River yesterday: “It takes at least 12 to 24 hours for the animal carcass to change from muscle to meat.
When allowed to change from muscle to meat. its DH levels drop from 6.8 to 5.4. which is important for quality and safety as it inhibits bacterial growth and reduces any cases of food poisoning, Prof Kang ethe said.
The colour of meat also changes from cherry-red to bright red, indicating the lessening of the myoglobin pigment in the meat. Myoglobin stores oxygen in the muscle cells of the animal and the more it is in the meat, the darker red it will appear. The latest research findings conducted by Kenya Markets Trust show that the country’s consumption of
meat in 2019 was 652,529 metric tonnes. with low-income earners consuming 443,720, representing 68 percent of the meat. Middle-income consumers ate 172.000 tonnes (27 percent), and high-income earners 32,760 (5 percent). Per capita consumption among high-income earners stood at 18.2 kilos annually, compared with 16.3 among middle-income earners and 10.6 for low-income earners. Whereas Kenya is among the top three countries in Africa with the largest herds, it is yet to meet its citizens’ meat demands and needs an extra 300.000 tonnes.
Most Kenyans love meat, but very few know how to. prepare the diverse products it offers, including the famed nyama choma (roast meat), T-bones. boneless cubes, meatballs, and boiled meat. To buck the trend and add more insight on the meat sub-sector; the Nation Media Group, in partnership with the Kenya Markets Trust, the Kenya Meat Commission and the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak), will host the first-ever meat expo in the country on November 18-19 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
The expo will seek to deepen awareness about the production and consumption of quality and safe meat. provide thought leadership on the industry’s policies, innovation and partnerships maximise networking opportunities for the industry’s players and spotlight the latest developments in the meat sector. Stakeholders in the meat industry have been urged to attend the expo and help in the rebranding of Kenyan meat, especially nyama choma and invest to make it a global brand.
Perhaps the Kenyan delicacy will one-day rival meat brands such as Brazilian steak. which is fancied globally. Kenya
Markets Trust board chairperson Patrick Obath said efforts need to be redoubled in the livestock industry as the population grows and demand for meat rises.
Retrak CEO Wambui Mbarire emphasised the need to train meat retailers and thereby increase the quality of meat and services rendered in the sector.
Agriculture Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai said the two-day expo will help propel the livestock sector and educate Kenyans on other issues such as food safety and security Nation Media Group CEO Stephen Gitagama pledged to use the company’s platforms to inform Kenyans on the opportunities available in the meat sector. Part of the expo will be aired live on NTV.
“They include Seeds of Gold every Saturday, Food Friday on NTVand our digital platform Nation.Africa.” KMC managing commissioner, Brigadier James Githaga, said the agency is undergoing reforms including faster payments to livestock farmers and use of all animal parts, including hides and skins, which are sold to local tanneries, and bones, which are crushed and sold as raw materials to firms processing bone meals.”
“We are working to open up more meat havens to boost the current ones in Nairobi and Athi River, and hope to go the franchise way by packaging small sizes of meat for the common mwananchi?”
This article was first published in the Daily Nation by Steve Otieno