Future Prospects for Halal Meat Quality_2016

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  • Dr Mustafa Farouk

    Food and Bio-based Products, AgResearch Limited;

    Presentation at the 7th Penang Halal International Halal Expo & Conference (PIHEC), 29 - 31 January 2016, Setia SPICE, Penang

    Future Prospects for Halal Meat Quality

  • Contents 1. Introduction

    2. Importance of industrially produced halal meat

    3. Definitions and importance

    Conventional meat quality

    Spiritual meat quality

    4. Meeting the spiritual quality of industrial halal meat

    Technology drivers

    Animal welfare drivers

    5. Pre-slaughter stunning and spiritual meat quality

    Future halal pre-stunning methods

    6. Animal welfare and spiritual meat quality

    7. Conclusion

  • Value (USD x 1000) of imported halal red meat, poultry and co-products of

    some selected countries/regions in 2012 Importing country/region &

    products Red meat category Poultry


    Chilled beef Frozen beef Lamb and


    Edible offal

    Halal red meat, poultry & co-products

    Indonesia 11,499 127,715 8,083 16,792 1,209

    Maghreb 57,276 305,497 36,842 3,940 175,520

    Malaysia 16,972 410,097 95,742 48,336 108,341

    Middle East 598,504 2,942,249 897,159 278,916 4,078,447

    - Saudi Arabia 75,043 362,267 225,707 36,540 1,513,312

    - United Arab Emirates 160,105 195,407 223,470 12,516 644,587

    World total red meat import 19,803,464 17,797,649 5,642,451 6,786,811 25,041,855

    Source: Market Analysis Research, International Trade Centre (ITC) Geneva Switzerland

    (http://www.trademap.org/tradestat/Country_SelProductCountry_TS.aspx). Accessed 23 March 2014.

    Maghreb = Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

    Middle East = Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, UAE and



  • Conventional definitions of quality are based on

    the inherent or perceived physical characteristics

    of meat.

    For most consumers they determine the meats

    appeal, acceptability, utility and, ultimately, its


    Meat quality

  • Conventional meat quality

    Consumers perception of meat quality is wide and subjective

    This perception reflects among others:

    regional and national differences,

    ethnicity and culture,

    political and economic considerations,

    individual beliefs and ideologies, and

    package labelling information and context








    Halal/Origin Animal Welfare












  • Spiritual meat quality: Halal perspective

  • Spirituality and ideology influence peoples attitude towards

    the killing of animals and the consumption of meat.

    Consideration of the source, life and death of the animal adds

    another dimension to meat quality - one that cannot be

    evaluated by science or measured by instruments.

    Thus, in addition to all the conventional terms used to convey

    the qualities of meat, spiritual quality is of foundational

    importance for faith groups.

    Spiritual meat quality

  • Halal is a quality cue that is very difficult or impossible to

    evaluate with the current methods.

    Therefore, trust is very important throughout the supply chain

    for the acceptability of halal meat.

    Thus, sound traceability and involving those that Islam say can

    be trusted in the supply chain are necessary for maintaining

    the spiritual quality of halal meat .

    Halal credence quality

  • Industrial halal meat production

    Halal livestock

    Slaughtered alive in accordance with Islamic shariah

    Complete death before any further


    Humane and considerate treatment of livestock

    (minimum stress and pain prior to and during


    Safety of the slaughterer and all concerned

  • Critical points for the spiritual quality of halal meat

  • Pre-slaughter stunning

    Purpose of stunning

    To render the animal insensible to pain

    To minimise fear, panic and other adverse effects associated with slaughter


    Worker safety

  • Halal consumers divide on stunning

    1) Those who totally reject stunning as non-Halal compliant

    2) Those who accept stunning regardless of the method used

    3) Those who accept stunning but are not sure which method is Halal compliant and want assurance in the following:

    - Is the stunned animal alive before it was slaughtered?

    - Is the stunning painful to the animal?

    - Does it affect the wholesomeness of the meat?

  • Head-only electrical stunning and associated processes

    The animal is restrained in the head bail that contains electrodes which contact the animals head behind the ears and the tip of the nose.

    The animal is stunned across the brain with an electric current of 1.5-2.5 A, 400V a.c. for 2-4 seconds.

    The animal is dropped onto a cradle or moving table and the Halal cut is performed as soon as practicable but usually within 10-15 seconds of stunning.

    Electro-immobilisation electrodes contact the animal between the nose and the anus and power is turned on (80-90 V d.c., 300mAmp,10 ms pulse at 15 pulses/sec).

    Electro-immobilisation is allowed to time out (15-30 seconds).

    Devine, 2007

  • Stunning and electro-immobilization

  • Potential halal pre-stunning methods

    Post-slaughter stun

    Reversible head-to-body electrical stunning

    Interferential current stunning

    Transcranial Magnetic stunning

    Microwave energy stunning

    Local or general anaesthesia with natural agents

    Modified atmosphere and Low Atmospheric Pressure stunning

  • Recoverable head-to-body electrical stunning

    Using high frequencies (1-2A, 1000-2000 HZ, 350-500 V, 4 s) Current NZ MIA study (AgResearch Ltd, Massey University, FIANZ, UPM,

    Jarvis Engineering Ltd)


  • Recoverable head-to-body stunning

    A current study comparing the use of high frequency

    head-to-body and low frequency head-only electrical


    Bobby calves, cattle, sheep, goats will be minimally

    anaesthetised, stunned using the two methods and

    EEG recordings done

    Recovery following stunning and behavioural studies

    carried out

  • Interferential current stunning

    De Domenico, G. (1982). The Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 28(3), 1418; Johnson and Tabasam (2003). Physical Therapy, 83(3), 208-223

    Used in acute and chronic pain management including

    electro-narcosis and electro-anaesthesia

    Interferential Current is based on the summation of two

    sinusoid alternating currents with their waveforms

    slightly offset or out of phase

    This mixing of the signals results in a low-frequency

    current that consists of cyclical modulation of the

    amplitude which is dependent on the difference of

    frequencies of the two carrier signals

    When the signals are in phase, the carrier signals sum

    to a value able to stimulate the tissue. When out of

    phase, no stimulation results.



    19.2mA current amplitude


  • Transcranial magnetic stunning (TMS)

    Used in psychiatric therapy to induce seizures in patients

    Intense magnetic field is generated by passing a large

    amount of current through a copper coil. The coil is

    positioned close to the head so that the brain lies within

    this magnetic field to affect a stun.

    Tried on 25 broilers with 20 successfully completed

    TMS at 35 or 50 Hz; 250-300 pulses; 80-51% power; 5 s

    EEG traces showed evidence of insensibility and a

    dominance of theta and delta wave

    Unconsciousness lasted for 15 to 20 s

    Lambooij et al. 2011. Animal Welfare 20: 407-412;

    TMS Stimulator & coil: http://www.magstim.com/product/1/70mm-double-air-film-coil


  • Microwave Energy Stunning (MES)

    Small et al. (2013) Animal welfare 22, 291-296.

    MES has been used in euthanizing laboratory animals by raising the brain temperature by 8C

    Four sheep were exposed to 4 kW of energy at 922 MHz for between 5 and 20 s. Temperature profiles, EEG and histology of the brain and onset of recovery following stunning were determined

    Application of microwave energy caused rapid increases in brain temperature within 10-20 s to 43C (a point above which insensibility would be expected to occur)

    EEG showed high amplitude activity similar to the epileptiform activity induced by the current practice of electrical stunning

    Patent International Application No. PCT/AU2011/000527

  • Local or general anesthesia with natural agents

    Slaughter stress and pain can be reduced by local anaesthesia using the commercial anaesthetics

    Residue in meat would render such application commercially unviable

    A commercial food-grade fish anaesthetic with iso-eugenol as the active ingredient (AQUI-S) has been approved for use in many countries

    This has been used to successfully anaesthetize fish including Atlantic cod and salmon

    The availability of natural anaesthetics for fish raises the prospects of others suitable for use in local anaesthesia of red meat animals prior to slaughter

  • Spiritual quality: machine vs hand slaughter

  • Animal Welfare affects meats spiritual


    Science can tell us about an animal




    ..but this doesnt get us all the way

    Our beliefs and ethics also have an important role to play in deciding what is acceptable

  • Psychic Premium

    Consumers are a driving force for animal welfare



  • Consumer views on animal welfare













    e (


    94.3% would like to see a

    welfare scoring system to

    be used in food stores

    Willing to pay an

    increasingly larger

    proportion of their meat

    expenditure for meat with

    higher welfare scores

    United Kingdom 2009

    Kehlbacher, A., Bennett, R., & Balcombe, K. (2012). Measuring the consumer benefits of improving farm animal welfare to inform welfare labelling. Food Policy, 37(6), 627-633

    Question: do you agree with the statement:

    Meat from animal with high welfare is..

  • Conclusion

    A substantial quantity of meat is produced around the world using industrial halal methods and associated processes.

    The conventionally-defined attributes of meat quality are demanded by halal and conventional consumers alike.

    additional attribute of spiritual quality is paramount for those who consume halal for religious reasons.

    Consumers are increasingly associating meat quality with animal welfare

  • Conclusion cont.

    Head-only pre-slaughter stunning or no-stunning are commonly

    used in halal meat production

    There are a number of technologies currently being trialled with

    potential to reduce quality defects associated with stunning when

    they become commercially available.

    Research to produce technologies and processes to harmonise

    the religious and the temporal requirements for the production

    of halal meat of high spiritual and conventional quality is


  • Additional references