Adelaide-based AgTech startup MEQ Probe has received $500,000 funding from Meat & Livestock Australia and industry partners Teys Australia and the Midfield Group to test ground-breaking technology to objectively measure the eating quality of meat.
Coming just a few months after MEQ Probe took home a coveted Pitch in the Paddock prize at the tri-annual Beef Australia event, the funding also includes investment from MEQ Probe founder, AgTech betaworks Availer.
It will enable a commercial pilot of the MEQ Probe technology, which uses nanoscale biophotonics to measure the marbling and tenderness of meat; both major drivers of eating quality.
With 200,000 people being employed by the beef industry in Australia and exports growing, MEQ Probe CEO, Jordy Kitschke, said that there’s an appetite for a greater understanding around eating quality in the industry, with the trial allowing his team to put the technology through its paces commercially, and bring the probe to a point where it can be rolled out industry wide.
“The meat industry is really excited about the impact that this technology is set to have on consumers. Our technology has the potential to make sure every time someone buys a steak or a chop, they have a great experience, and it lives up to their expectations,” he said.
“Our focus is on making sure our technology creates as much value as possible for the red meat industry, whilst making the probe simple to use and easy to adopt.”
The trial will be conducted at two sites in southern Australia, using 2,400 sheep and cattle across different breeds, production systems, and seasons.
John Langbridge, Manager of Industry and Corporate Affairs at Teys Australia, said he was excited to see the impact that cutting-edge tech was set to have on Australia’s agricultural sector.
“At the consumer end of the supply chain, we want to be able to better predict and optimise the consumer experience,” he said.
“At the producer end, we want to be able to provide producers with objective, transparent data so they can continue to produce the best beef possible."