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By Francisco Najar, M.S.
Welcome to MeatsPad, a platform to share breakthrough knowledge that is accessible to the meat industry. Be ready to hear from meat specialists to talk about numerous topics in meat science, including animal welfare, meat production, meat quality, among others.
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Slaughter safety, pathogens, and meat processing - Dr. Jennifer Acuff


Meat quality, rigor mortis, and chilling/time - Dr. Chris Calkins
This week, we feature Dr. Chris R. Calkins who is a Professor of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska. He earned B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Texas A&M University and a M.S. degree from the University of Tennessee. He has several hundred refereed journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings, holds 6 patents, and has received millions of dollars in research support. Dr. Calkins is recognized around the world for his expertise in meat quality and value adding strategies for beef and has given numerous invited presentations in North and South America, Europe and Asia. He was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame in 2019. Today you will learn about: 1. What is Rigor Mortis 2. Practices to enhance tenderness 3. Chilling times 4. Lean carcasses 5. Beef in Latin America 6. Meat quality  
October 20, 2020
Where is the pork industry today? - Dr. Dustin Boler
Our guest this week is Dr. Dustin Boler who is a Meat Scientist with Topigs Norsvin. He earned undergraduate degrees at Purdue University (BS ’04) and graduate degrees at the University of Illinois (MS ’08, PhD ’11). Following graduation, he was on faculty at Ohio State and the University of Illinois, where his research focused on fresh pork quality.  He has interacted with industry partners to evaluate the effects of farm practices on carcass characteristics and cutability and also focused on processed meat quality, issues relating to fat quality, and sensory and consumer acceptability of pork and beef. Dr. Boler taught classes at the graduate and undergraduate levels in Meat Science and Muscle Biology. Now, with Topigs Norsvin, his international responsibilities encompass research and development activities, sales and marketing support, and technical service for integrated producers and packers.
October 6, 2020
Current changes in beef carcass sizes - Dr. Phil Bass and Jessica Lancaster
This episode will cover the current impact of the increase in size and weight of cattle, carcasses, and subprimal cuts due to this pandemic.  Jessica Lancaster is a third year PhD student at the University of Idaho studying Meat Science under the mentorship of Dr. Phil Bass. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science at Colorado State University. She then continued onto the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she coached the meat evaluation and meat animal evaluation teams and earned her Master's Degree in Meat Science. Her primary research focus is the impact of oversized carcasses on steak quality and opportunities for alternative fabrication of oversized beef carcasses. Today you will learn about: - Current beef sizes/weights - Quality issues associated with heavier carcasses - Alternatives for retailers  And much more.
September 22, 2020
Slaughter safety, pathogens, and meat processing - Dr. Jennifer Acuff
Our guest this week is Dr. Jennifer Acuff, an Assistant Professor of Food Microbiology at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR. Although her integrated research, extension, and teaching program is currently focused on serving the producers of Arkansas, Dr. Acuff is no stranger to working and collaborating with processors and universities throughout the U.S. Dr. Acuff was born and raised in College Station, TX, earned a B.S. in Biology at Abilene Christian University, an M.S. in Food Science at Kansas State University, and Ph.D. in Food Science from Virginia Tech. Over the years, her research has ranged from beef safety to low-moisture, ready-to-eat foods, with the common, overarching goal of providing applied, useful research to stakeholders and consumers. In this episode you will learn about: - The importance of eliminating pathogens - The presence of E-coli and Salmonella  - Antimicrobial interventions - Killing pathogens through scalding - Contamination via evisceration And a lot more! - 
September 8, 2020
Beef Tenderness and Aging - Dr. Phil Bass
We feature Dr. Phil Bass who is an Assistant Professor and Meat Scientist at the University of Idaho. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Animal Science at California Polytechnic State University and his Ph.D. in Meat Science from Colorado State University. Phil served as the Senior Meat Scientist for the Certified Angus Beef brand for several years where he led educational programs, innovative beef carcass merchandising initiatives, and analyzed data for the betterment of the brand and beef community. Phil transitioned to a faculty position in the Animal, Veterinary and Food Sciences Department with the University of Idaho in 2017 where he teaches and focuses his research primarily on ways of improving beef carcass value and palatability through practical and applied means. In this episode you will learn about: -What is aging? -Pros and cons of dry aging -Wet aging -Influence of cattle genetics -Practices to optimize tenderness And much more!
August 25, 2020
Introduction to meat color and shelf-life - Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan
During this episode, we are excited to have Dr. Ranjith Ramanathan as our guest. Dr. Ram is an Associate Professor of Meat Science in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Ram obtained his Ph.D. and MS degrees in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut in 2012. He received his Bachelor of Veterinary and Animal Science in 2004 from Kerala Agricultural University, India. His research focuses on both fundamental and applied factors that influence fresh meat quality.  In this episode you will learn about: -What is meat color? -Myoglobin, a protein responsible for meat color -Why does meat oxidize? -Types of meat packaging -How to optimize the shelf-life of meat -Difference between meat color and food safety -Future of meat production  And a lot more!
August 11, 2020
Factors to consider when increasing your slaughter capacity - Derek Schroeder, MS
Our guest this week is Derek Schroeder who is a slaughter equipment and meat processing specialist at Ultrasource. He is from Northeast Nebraska. Derek earned his BS in Animal Science at the University of Nebraska-lincoln. He continued on for his MS in Meat Science under Dr. Dennis Burson where his research emphasis was in sodium reduction in processed meats. After graduating with his MS, he went into equipment sales at UltraSource LLC in KC, MO. He specializes in kill floor and processing equipment and he also plays a role in teaching in UltraSource Academies providing the fundamentals of Meat Science to meat processors. In this episode you will learn about: -Increased demand of local meats -What to do when doubling production -Correct carcass spacing within the hotbox -Rail size -What are mobile slaughter houses? -And a lot more
July 28, 2020
New in-plant regulations to minimize COVID-19 in meat plants - Nelson Gaydos, MS
We feature Nelson Gaydos, an Outreach Specialist, at the American Association of Meat Processors (AAMP). He graduated from Penn State with both a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science and a Master’s Degree in Animal Science with a focus on Meat Microbiology. He joined AAMP back in July of 2016 as its Outreach Specialist where his responsibilities include: answering members questions on food safety, processing, HACCP and regulatory affairs, or any other subject, help find and provide supporting documentation, aid in guiding industry-focused research and challenge studies, create and develop training and educational materials including videos, brochures and articles, direct AAMP’s Internship Program, travel to state and regional convention to promote the organization and educate members and help represent AAMP in Washington D.C. concerning regulatory affairs. The subjects we discuss in this episode are: -AAMP resources -Guidelines that should be in place to minimize the COVID-19 transmission -Personal protective equipment -Good Manufacturing Practices  -A production shift due to the current pandemic - And a lot more
July 14, 2020
How to Maximize Quality in Meat Processing - Dr. Brandon Goehring
In episode #5, we feature Dr. Brandon Goehring, a Technical Services Manager at Visko Teepak. He finished his BS in Animal Science at Iowa State University.  He completed his MS and PhD at Kansas State university researching bacon quality.  While at K-state, he managed in the K-State Meat Lab and coached the Meats Judging team.  Upon graduating, he went to work for the CampoFrio Food group in an R&D role working with Italian style Salami, Prosciutto and other dry-cured food items. He then moved on to a Food Scientist teaching/troubleshooting role at Ultrasource where he managed the Test kitchen and the Ultrasource Academy programs.  While at Ultrasource he spent a significant time working with smokehouse operations and drying chambers.  He currently works at Viskoteepak as a Technical Services Manager providing customer troubleshooting solutions for Fibrous, Plastic, Cellulose, and Collagen casings. You will learn about: -Quality parameters of meat  -Differences between wet aging and dry aging -Factors to control when producing fermented meat products -The importance of pH in meat processing  And a lot more.
June 30, 2020
How long can we store a pork carcass? - Dr. Elizabeth Boyle
This week, we feature Dr. Elizabeth Boyle, a Professor in Meat Science in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University. She will discuss about a peer-reviewed journal article that was recently published (link below). This research stemmed from the need of accessible supporting documentation for small and mid-sized pork processors who may hold pork carcasses for an extended hanging time.  - Dr. Boyle obtained her B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Minnesota. Then she graduated with her M.S. in Food Science and Nutrition and Ph.D. in Food Science with a meats emphasis from Colorado State University.  Currently, she provides scientific and technical assistance to meat processors and trade associations. Additionally, Dr. Boyle hosts HACCP workshops and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in meat processing, HACCP and Preventive Controls, and Advanced HACCP.  In this episode you will learn about: -Extended hanging time effect on pork carcasses -Adequate temperature and relative humidity  -What is supporting documentation? -Can we store pork cuts in vacuum bags after a long hanging time? -Link to article:
June 16, 2020
Bonus Part 2 - Corn price fluctuation affecting the meat industry in COVID-19 times - Dr. Carlos Campabadal
Dr. Carlos Campabadal, an extension specialist at Kansas State University, discussed about the current situation with corn prices and how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted beef producers in the U.S.  Carlos is a faculty member of the Department of Grain Science and Industry that works at the International Grains Program Institute (IGP) focusing on outreach in the areas of grain storage, quality and processing, U.S. grain grading and export systems, and feed manufacturing.  He obtained his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Costa Rica. He then graduated with his M.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois. Carlos obtained his doctoral degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. In this bonus episode we will learn about: 1. Price fluctuations in corn during the Covid-19 pandemic 2. Current update on corn production in the U.S. 3. Corn availability on the market 4. Future challenges in the grain industry And a lot more!
June 5, 2020
Bonus Part 1 - COVID-19 and its impact on the meat industry in North America - Dr. Jorge Simroth
We are featuring Dr. Jorge Simroth, a Feedlot Nutritional and Production Consultant at Feedlot Health Management Services in Okotoks, Alberta, Canada, who will talk about the current challenges that are faced by both the beef industry and the meat industry in North America. He obtained his B.S. in Agriculture at Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. He then received his M.S. in Ruminant Nutrition from West Texas A&M University. Upon the completion of his M.S., he returned to Mexico to work as an animal Nutrition Consultant and Technical Services representative. In 2018, he graduated with his Ph.D. in Pathobiology from Kansas State University.  In this bonus episode we will learn about: -The impact of the current pandemic on the meat industry in North America -The challenges in the beef industry during the Covid-19 pandemic -The negative impact on cattle prices -Government subsidies to help beef producers And a lot more. 
June 2, 2020
Animal welfare, transportation, and meat quality - Dr. John M. Gonzalez
In this episode, we feature Dr. John M. Gonzalez who is an Associate Professor at the University of Georgia. Dr. Gonzalez obtained his B.S. in Agricultural Economics and Poultry Science from Texas A&M University. He then earned his M.S. in Animal Science from Sul Ross State University. In 2008, Dr. Gonzalez achieved his Ph.D. in Animal Sciences from the University of Florida.  His research areas: 1. Studies the cellular influencers of muscle growth and their impact on meat quality 2. Examines the effects of muscle fiber size/type and collagen crosslinks and their relationship with fresh meat color and tenderness 3. Explores novel technologies, including feed additives, management strategies, and breeding strategies and how these components modify gestational, in ovo, or postnatal muscle growth and development 4. Evaluates the cellular and biochemical characteristics from livestock that are responsible for muscle fatigue during transportation
May 24, 2020