Recognition for Innovative NSW DPI Scientist

4 Mar 2020

Dr Ben Holman and Edwina Toohey

An emerging NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) scientist has been recognised for his part in building stronger primary industries through a project that aims to ensure the sustainability of red meat exports to China.

Meat scientist Dr Benjamin Holman was honoured with a Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry last night at the 2020 ABARES Outlook Conference.

The Science Awards recognise young scientists, researchers and innovators with original projects focused on keeping Australia’s rural industries sustainable and profitable.

“The majority of Australian red meat is exported to overseas markets, generating vital export income and supporting thousands of rural and regional jobs,” Dr Holman said.

“Growth in these markets depends on us providing high quality, safe red meat products.”

Dr Holman said export markets, particularly the Chinese market, use total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N) to measure meat freshness.

His project aims to establish the relationship between TVB-N and other metrics for freshness including microbial, oxidative and quality attributes.

“This is of interest because Chinese authorities and potentially others can use TVB-N standards on imported meat, which may restrict the access of our red meat to their market,” Dr Holman said.

“This is preemptive research on a potential future challenge that may confront our industries in accessing a key export market.”

NSW DPI Director General Scott Hansen congratulated Dr Holman on his award and said this is just one example of the work NSW DPI is conducting to build profitable and productive primary industries.

“This type of science and research is one reason why the NSW Department of Primary Industries is ranked in the top one percent of global agricultural research organisations,” Mr Hansen said.

This is the second time Dr Holman has received a Science and Innovation Award for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. His previous receipt was in 2017 to support his investigation of dark cutting beef using a smart device linked colorimeter.

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