Pork Insight Articles

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Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

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Author(s): Brian Sullivan
Publication Date: January 25, 2013
Reference: Better Farming
Country: Canada


Consumers in North America don’t like to see the muscle fat in their meat, but their taste buds actually prefer some intramuscular marbling. In Japan, it is the opposite; there, consumers want to see the fat and they pay a premium for more intramuscular marbling.

To help the pork industry deal with complicated consumer preferences, the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement is conducting a cross-Canada, three-year evaluation of about 6,000 Duroc pigs so that breeders can select the best candidates to sire the next generation of market pigs.

Brian Sullivan, the Ottawa-based CEO of the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement, says the evaluations are being done using ultrasound along with software technology developed at Iowa State University. Trained technicians take ultrasound images of the pigs. The images are uploaded into the centre’s database, where they are reviewed using the Iowa State University software to come up with an estimate of intramuscular fat.

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