Lawrie’s Meat Science has established itself as a standard work for both students and professionals in the meat industry. Its basic theme remains the central importance of biochemistry in understanding the production, storage, processing and eating quality of meat. At a time when so much controversy surrounds meat production and nutrition, Lawrie’s meat science, written by Lawrie in collaboration with Ledward, provides a clear guide which takes the reader from the growth and development of meat animals, through the conversion of muscle to meat, to the point of consumption.

The seventh edition includes details of significant advances in meat science which have taken place in recent years, especially in areas of eating quality of meat and meat biochemistry.

Key Features

  • A standard reference for the meat industry
  • Discusses the importance of biochemistry in production, storage and processing of meat
  • Includes significant advances in meat and meat biochemistry


Food researchers, the meat industry, students, academics

Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface to seventh edition
  • Preface to first edition
  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
    • 1.1 Meat and muscle
    • 1.2 The origin of meat animals
    • 1.3 Current trends and developments
  • Chapter 2: Factors influencing the growth and development of meat animals
    • 2.1 General
    • 2.2 Genetic aspects
    • 2.3 Environmental physiology
    • 2.4 Nutritional aspects
    • 2.5 Exogenous manipulation
  • Chapter 3: The structure and growth of muscle
    • 3.1 The proportion of muscular tissue in sheep, cattle and pigs
    • 3.2 Structure
    • 3.3 The growth of normal muscle
    • 3.4 Abnormal growth and development in muscle
  • Chapter 4: Chemical and biochemical constitution of muscle
    • 4.1 General chemical aspects
    • 4.2 Biochemical aspects
    • 4.3 Factors reflected in specialized muscle function and constitution
  • Chapter 5: The conversion of muscle to meat
    • 5.1 Preslaughter handling
    • 5.2 Death of the animal
    • 5.3 General consequences of circulatory failure
    • 5.4 Conditioning (ageing)
  • Chapter 6: The spoilage of meat by infecting organisms
    • 6.1 Infection
    • 6.2 Symptoms of spoilage
    • 6.3 Factors affecting the growth of meat-spoilage micro-organisms
    • 6.4 Prophylaxis
  • Chapter 7: The storage and preservation of meat: I Temperature control
    • 7.1 Refrigeration
    • 7.2 Thermal processing
  • Chapter 8: The storage and preservation of meat: II Moisture control
    • 8.1 Dehydration
    • 8.2 Freeze dehydration
    • 8.3 Curing
  • Chapter 9: The storage and preservation of meat: III Direct microbial inhibition
    • 9.1 Ionizing radiation
    • 9.2 Antibiotics
    • 9.3 Ch


No. of pages:
© 2006
Woodhead Publishing
eBook ISBN:
Print ISBN:

About the authors

R. A. Lawrie

Ralston A. Lawrie was one of the world’s leading authorities on meat science. Formerly Emeritus Professor of Food Science in the University of Nottingham, he was also the founding editor of the journal Meat Science.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Nottingham, UK

David Ledward

David A. Ledward is Emeritus Professor of Food Science at University of Reading and is the founding editor and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Meat Science.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Reading, UK


…it is a must read for university undergraduate and post-graduate meat/food science students and for meat and food scientists., Meat Science
A tremendous bibliography (approx. 2,500 references!), and very detailed subject index complete and increase the value of this extraordinary book., Acta Alimentaria
It should be at hand to everyone dealing with meat technology, or research, respectively., Journal of Food and Nutrition Research