Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology was founded in 1955, by the decision of the Yugoslav Association of enterprises of the meat processing industry, of the National Committee of the City of Belgrade and the National Committee of the Municipality of West Vračar, under the name Institute of Meat Technology. The obligation of the founder of the Institute, until 1960, was carried out by the Association of the canning industry of Yugoslavia and the Federal Industrial Association, and since that time, this role was taken over by the Chamber of Commerce of Yugoslavia. Conclusion of the Board of Directors of the Federal Chamber of Commerce in July 1965, the Institute was named the scientific institution, whose activity is of special public interest. The Republican Association for the Coordination of scientific services of SR Serbia in 1967 enrolled the Institute in the register of scientific institutions.

1994. The name of the former Yugoslav Institute of Meat Technology changes to the new – Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia in 2006 undertook the change of status of the Institute and transformed it from the status of social enterprise into the scientific and research institution that operates in accordance with the regulations governing the operation of public services, and the function of the founder was took over by the Republic of Serbia.

The Institute was named in 2006, by the decision of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Serbia, the institution of special importance for the Republic of Serbia.

According to the Law on Scientific Research Activity (Off. Gazette no. 110/05), the Institute is accredited in June 2007 as a research-development institute.

The Institute was founded in the period when the production and processing of meat frame gradually began to transform from craftsmanship to an industrial operation. It was a time when a serious modernization of existing and construction of new modern industrial facilities was prepared with the aim to increase the production of meat, win higher stages of its processing and thus provide satisfaction of growing domestic demand and seize good opportunities for inclusion in the international market. Based on these commitments, to create a modern meat industry, the newly formed Institute, among others, has set the following objectives – to:

  • improve the staff and thus ensure timely preparation for the organization and management of production in modernized and new buildings meat industry;
  • provide expert assistance in the selection and implementation of the program of modernization of existing and construction of new facilities;
  • study technology in developed countries, as well as the range of products and to define the procedures for meat production and processing in industrial conditions; and
  • prepare proposals for the veterinary and sanitary requirements, quality standards, inspection systems and meat products made industrially.

Given these requirements, it was not assumed that a small number of young professionals in the newly founded Institute and those who were in the industry, could independently implement all the tasks in a short time. Therefore, already at the founding of the Institute, scholars of relevant faculties, the military services, inspection services and other professional services of state administration bodies were included in the work of the Institute. This commitment of the Institute laid the foundations for its operation and development, and therefore we cannot separate the Institute from the development of the meat industry and other research and professional services.

The invaluable assistance that the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Belgrade has provided for the Institute in the first 10 years of its work should be noted. The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, though itself in the limited space, allowed prof. Dr. Isidor Savić, as the originator and founder of the Institute, to accommodate the newly established Institute at the Faculty. It also made available the necessary equipment and scientific and technical staff in the field of meat hygiene and technology – to be actively involved in resolving all the tasks set before the Institute. Therefore, it must be emphasized that the Institute has developed with the generous help of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Belgrade, especially the Department of Meat Hygiene and Technology. This assistance was needed particularly in the training of personnel, both from industry and from the Institute – to reach a level of proficiency to independently conduct professional and scientific issues.

Highlighting the contribution of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in no way diminishes the importance of other universities and individuals, army representatives, inspection services, professional services of administration bodies and other associations – for the development of the Institute and the modern meat industry we have today in our country.

Also, it is necessary to point out the important role of certain foreign trade organizations and business associations in solving of the problems occurring in the meat industry and the Institute in the first and even the later years of their work and development.

In this way, since its establishment, a strong link between the Institute and manufacturers/food business operators in the meat industry, has been established, also between scientific and professional institutions and most of the other organizations that are directly or indirectly related to the production and processing of meat.

The Institute began to organize courses and seminars; one-month, two-month and three-month “schools”; conferences and symposiums, and gradually trained staff necessary for modern industrial meat production and processing in new and modernized facilities. In addition, laboratories were formed in all the meat industry facilities, whose main task was, through daily control of meat and meat products, to constantly influence the improvement of hygiene, quality and production processes. Plant laboratories became the centers where the professional preparation for the amendment of existing and development of new technological processes was initiated and from which the development services and modern preparation work has developed. Given that they operated by the unique principles, using the methods agreed upon within the Institute, the constant changes of experience was made possible and, therefore, faster improvement of the existing and winning of the new production.

With the joint efforts of experts from the production and the Institute, and use of foreign experiences, in less than five years in Yugoslavia 15 new plants were built and 10 existing ones modernized. Industrial meat production for a period of less than five years, increased by 2.5 times, and meat processing by over 30 times. By developing new technological processes, the production won more than 50 new meat products, compared to only several types of products that were made during this period. All this has made it possible for Yugoslavia to appear with significant quantities of meat and meat products on the world market. From the known exporter of livestock, our country, in the short term, became the four largest European exporter of meat and meat products. In doing so, and even more important, we have become an equal partner in the global market, in regard to the quality and range of products, with countries where the technology developed for more than 40 years.

The achievement of such good results was influenced by the adoption of the first national regulations on the quality of meat and meat products and new veterinary-sanitary rules on meat inspection and regulation of industrial facilities, in whose preparation a significant contribution – in addition to the other participants – was made by the experts of the meat industry and the newly established Institute.

The initial determination and achievements have influenced further development of the Institute and a more direct relationship with the direct production, resulting in the set of basic tasks, and where results of the professional and scientific activities have been applied directly. Therefore, the Institute’s human and professional capacities have strengthened and activities expanded in those areas that are of interest for further successful development of the industry, its research laboratories outfitted with modern appliances and devices have undergone organizational perfecting. During this period, members of the Institute have drafted and defended 49 doctoral dissertations, dealing with fundamentally important areas of science and technology in meat science. In addition, in the laboratories of the Institute, numerous experts from the meat industry and other institutions, have conducted doctoral researches and studies, which, and in this way, even stronger link between the meat industry, Institute and other educational and scientific institutions was established.

Pending the establishment of the Institute, meat technology, as a special scientific discipline, in our country was in the initial stage of development. Requirements of the meat industry for new personnel, as well as professional and scientific activities of the Institute, have influenced continuous development of this important area of applied science. The logical consequence of this operation was that, to form, in 1985, at the Institute, the Yugoslav Center for the Meat Science.

Since 1965, the Institute has been included on the list of authorized food testing organizations, and since 1980 it has been authorized to perform super analysis of foodstuffs and articles/items of general use. In 1983, the Institute was authorized to perform super analysis of dishes, utensils and packaging for foodstuffs, as well as washing and cleaning products. By the Decision of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia, from 1991 and 1997, the Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology is authorized to determine the health correctness of foodstuffs and items of general use.

Since 1972, the Institute has been carrying out activities for the purpose of establishing and then implementing the National Program for controlling residues in foodstuffs of animal origin, and by the Decision of the Federal Committee for Economy from 1985, the Yugoslav Institute of Meat Technology is appointed as the coordinating laboratory for the system of controlling (monitoring) of biological residues in tissues and organs of slaughtered animals and meat products at the SFRY level.

This program was implemented in the SFRY as one of the first countries in Europe in order to establish the conditions for export of canned ham to the US market. The above-mentioned tasks were carried out in close cooperation with the competent commissions of the USA and the European Union, which during their control in 1997, have confirmed the laboratory of the Institute as a reference for the examination of residues (European Commission Directorate General XXIV, No. XXIV/1517/97), as well as the competent inspections of the United States.

Based on the contract with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, the Veterinary Directorate, the Institute has been successfully implementing the Program of Systematic Monitoring of the Residues of Pharmacological, Hormonal and other Harmful Substances in Animals, Products of Animal Origin, Food of Animal Origin and Animal Feed. The realization of this Program is a precondition for the export of meat and all products of animal origin from the Republic of Serbia to the EU market.

Based on the contract with the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Skopje, the said jobs are also carried out for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Macedonia.

By the decision of the Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control Service of the Russian Federation from 2010, the Institute is on the list of laboratories authorized to issue certificates of the safety of food products of plant and animal origin exported from the Republic of Serbia to the Russian Federation.

The Federal Institute for Standardization has recognized the Institute’s Quality System in accordance with the standard JUS ISO 9001: 2001, in 2001, and in 2002, the Accreditation Body of Serbia and Montenegro (JUAT) has given to the Laboratory of the Institute the Certificate of accreditation according to the standard JUS ISO 17025: 2002, for 23 cases of testing (meat, meat products, fish, milk and milk products, eggs and egg products, honey and other bee products, dietary foods, animal feed, etc.). Even today, the Institute has one of the widest scope of accreditation (over 400 accredited methods for testing of food) in our country. Recertification according to the SRPS ISO standard and re-accreditation of the laboratory were carried out in 2015, and the validity of the Accreditation Certificate was extended until 2020.

By the Decision of the European Commission “Commission Regulation EC No 1168/2002 of 28 June 2002”, the Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology is hereby appointed an authorized institution for the certification of authenticity for the export of beef meat originating in the FRY (since 2005) to the European Union market. The European Commission confirmed with its decisions this appointment in continuity from 2002 to 2016.

Since 2015, the Laboratory for Biotechnological Research and Control of Food Safety and Quality of the Institute has been registered in the register of legal entities performing the veterinary activities managed by the Veterinary Directorate.

The Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology has developed more than 500 technical and technological projects for slaughterhouses, meat and fish processing facilities and other branches of the food industry, facilities for processing of slaughterhouse waste and warehouses in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the Republic of Serbia and abroad.

For 56 years, the Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology has been publishing a scientific-professional journal “Meat Technology”, and has published a number of books, monographs and proceedings.

In the framework of its activities, the Institute organizes meat industry conferences, where distinguished academics and scientists from the country and abroad present the results of the latest scientific research and present them to experts from the domestic meat industry. In October 2015, the 58th International Conference of the meat industry was held in Zlatibor.

Within the Institute there is also a library that provides associates of the Institute and external users with the possibility of daily use of scientific and professional books and journals, domestic and foreign.

Scientific workers and researchers of the Institute regularly participate in scientific meetings in the country and abroad, and the Institute works closely with similar institutes and faculties from Germany, Russia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece, Hungary, France, Ireland, Poland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and others.

The Institute employs 80 workers, of which 40 are with high education: 24 doctors of science, 5 masters, and various specializations. The above-mentioned human resources are of different educational profiles (veterinarians predominantly – 25), so the research performed in the Institute is carried out from a multidisciplinary standpoint. Special attention is paid to the education of young staff who are in various forms of training (doctoral students, master students, specializations, courses, training in the most prestigious world laboratories).

In addition to the regular cooperation with the industry, within the Institute, the Council of the technologist of meat and meat products was formed, made up of the most professional and prominent representatives of the meat industry, and representatives of the inspection services, ministries, faculties, as well as other institutions.

The task of the Council is to exchange the experience, to take joint expert opinions on important issues, to prepare proposals for individual regulations, to define common research tasks or to assess the results achieved. In this way it is ensured that research programs are set up and the results are evaluated depending on their actuality and importance for immediate practical application.

Through the direct cooperation of the Institute with the similar institutions in the world, it is possible to get acquainted with their achievements and to constantly exchange of experiences. All this has created the conditions that our meat industry and its expert and scientific services, over the course of 60 years, have been timely informed about the global directions of meat technology development.

Finally, it should be said that the Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology, during its 60 year development, has created such scientific and professional strengths, and also in respect to the equipment, has grown into an organization that, in cooperation with experts from direct production, is able to solve all tasks in the field the meat industry and meat science, as well as to master all the laboratory methods that can guarantee the supply of our country with safe and high quality food.