Macro Group Australia | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2021
Macro Group is a supplier of wild game — chiefly kangaroo — meat, offering a range of products worldwide for both human and animal consumption in manufacturing, foodservice and retail forms.
The company also incorporates a NATA- accredited food and environmental testing facility, originally set up to conduct research and development for the Macro Meats product range.
When the team identified an opportunity to sell high-value pet food product into the USA and European markets, it found there were stringent limits on maximum permissible levels of heavy metals in both the meat and the bones of game animals used in pet food production.
While there was some local information available on the limited testing of game meat produced through Australian Government research projects, the team could find no data on heavy metal levels in the bones or skeletons of wild game.
The kangaroo meat industry is based on sustainable and ethical sourcing, which means harvesting is only allowed from specific regions under highly controlled conditions. When the laboratory team determined it required specialist apparatus to conduct chemical testing, it was with the intention of ascertaining the specific heavy metal profiles in game derived from specific geographic regions across three states.
Macro secured funding for the new equipment from FIAL under the Black Summer Innovation Grant program. Originally planned for installation in the company’s existing laboratory, the apparatus’s use of highly volatile gases including hydrogen and argon meant the existing lab was determined to be an unsuitable location. This, in turn, has helped fast-track Macro’s plans to build a new facility, which the company hopes to have operational by mid-2022.
The new equipment will allow Macro to expand on its chemical analysis capability, complementing its services including testing of food, environmental and water samples for microbial and chemical parameters as per the Australian Standards and AOAC approved methods.