When Quality Counts, Count on Technology
Pork quality may be predicted by using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) on the pig’s ears. This technique can provide information on meat quality traits like lean and fat content, fatty acid profile and fat depth. It can categorize each of these categories as “high” or “low” levels. unfortunately it can be hard to scan the ear since the pig is usually moving around, so further research into a clamp device is being investigated. Genetic selection can be done after the results are known, along with sorting pigs for certain markets so that the feeds can be customized to meet the requirements. As with all new technology, it is expensive but prices are expected to decrease. Carcass bruising can also help detect meat quality since bruising decreases carcass quality. Identifying the cause of bruising can help increase revenue and protect the pig. Using a spectrophotometer, bruising colour can be detected which can be used to detect if the bruise is under 7 hours old or over 25 hours old. This would be used to determine if it happened during transport or at the farm. Pork belly quality is currently measured through a manual assessment on softness and firmness. A more objective approach should be taken and can be done by modifying current plant equipment so that the pork belly could lie across two conveyor belts. Soft bellies would fall to the conveyor underneath while firm ones would be sent for further sorting. These three projects could have many benefits towards the pork industry.
When Quality Counts, Count on Technology (full article)