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Researchers focus on pork bellies

An Australian researcher has developed a camera-based measurement system to quantify belly fat percentage.

Dr Susanne Hermesch of Australia's University of New England created the system, predicting belly fat percentage from the intermuscular fat area, muscle area of rib muscle, and subcutaneous fat area.

Pork bellies are one of the major cuts from the pork carcass; most markets require a high lean/fat ratio with a well defined lean meat streak.

Using the camera the data are derived from images of the anterior side of the belly as well as the backfat depth at the P2 site.

Explanation


"The prediction equation explained 76% of the variation in fat percentage of the belly," Hermesch said.

The system was used to study genetic and management influences of pork belly characteristics.

Belly characteristics were recorded on 2,500 pigs, and heritabilities and genetic correlations with other traits were estimated.

Incorporating belly composition


"Genetic (variables) available from this project allow seedstock producers to incorporate belly composition in breeding decisions," Hermesch told. "In order to exploit genetic and management influences on belly composition, live animal or on-line carcass measurement systems will be required."

Related website:
• University of New England

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