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Interpretive Summary: Comparison of an advanced automated ultrasonic scanner (AutoFom III) and a handheld optical probe (Destron PG-100) to determine lean yield in pork carcasses

By: Justice B Dorleku, Lisa Wormsbecher, Mette Christensen, Cheryl P Campbell, Ira B Mandell, Benjamin M Bohrer

Pork grading is a producer-feedback system that provides carcass trait information (i.e., carcass weight, fat/lean deposition) to determine the economic value of carcasses. Packing plants generally emphasize the optimization of carcass weight and leanness by providing premium or discounted prices using a grid system. Packing plants routinely collect carcass weights while carcass leanness can be more challenging to capture. Since the packing industry does not measure fat/lean deposition for each carcass or each meat cut within the carcass, various technologies are used to predict carcass leanness. These include optical probes, spectral imaging, artificial vision, and others that have been around for decades. A challenge with these technologies is that they often collect measurements at only one location on the carcass, providing information that is not necessarily representative of the entire carcass. The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of an advanced automated ultrasonic scanner (AutoFom III) that scans the entire carcass with that of a handheld optical probe (Destron PG-100) that collects measurements from one location on the carcass. In summary, the AutoFom III improved accuracy for determining lean yield with the additional advantage of predicting primal weights when compared with the Destron PG-100.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.