Review: Canadian beef grading – opportunities to identify carcass and meat quality traits valued by consumers.

Aalhus, J.L., López-Campos, Ó., Prieto, N., Rodas-Gonzalez, A., Dugan, M.E.R, Uttaro, B., and Juárez, M. (2014). "Review: Canadian beef grading – opportunities to identify carcass and meat quality traits valued by consumers.", Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 94(4), pp. 545-556.

Abstract

Beef value is in the eye, mouth or mind of the consumer; however, currently, producers are paid on the basis of carcass grade. In general, affluent consumers are becoming more discerning and are willing to pay for both credence and measureable quality differences. The Canadian grading system for youthful carcasses identifies both lean yield and quality attributes, whereas mature carcasses are broadly categorized. Opportunities exist to improve the prediction of lean meat yield and better identify meat quality characteristics in youthful beef, and to obtain additional value from mature carcasses through muscle profiling. Individual carcass identification along with development of database systems like the Beef InfoXchange System (BIXS) will allow a paradigm shift for the industry as traits of economic value can be easily identified to improve marketing value chains. In the near future, developing technologies (e.g., grade cameras, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and spectroscopic methods such as near infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging) will be successfully implemented on-line to identify a multitude of carcass and quality traits of growing importance to segments of the consuming population.

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