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Evaluation of total and saleable meat yield prediction equations in beef

Ó. López-Campos, I. Larsen, N. Prieto, M. Juárez, M.E.R. Dugan, J.L. Aalhus, Evaluation of total and saleable meat yield prediction equations in beef, Meat Science, Volume 112, 2016, Page 180, ISSN 0309-1740, (


Currently, there are two yield algorithms in use in North America based on either saleable or total lean meat yield, and both provide important information to different sectors of the beef value chain. Changes in cattle populations may have influenced the accuracy of lean meat yield equations. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the beef yield equations currently used in North America using a total of 238 commercial steer carcasses over a wide range of carcass weight and fatness (900–1650 lbs, 1–20 mm backfat). Beef yield estimations using the total lean yield and commercial or saleable yield equations were developed. Carcasses were then fabricated to primal cuts, followed by full dissection into subcutaneous fat (SQ), intermuscular fat (IM) and body cavity fat (BC), lean and bone. The coefficient of determination obtained between the total lean meat and saleable meat yield equation estimates was relatively high (R2=0.75). However, relationships between these yield estimations and the actual (dissection) SQ or lean content were moderate (R2 = 0.58 and 0.52, for SQ and R2 = 0.54 and 0.56, for lean, respectively). The relationship between saleable meat yield estimations and total of lean and fat percentage in the boneless closely trimmed chuck, rib, loin and round retail cuts was low (R2=0.38). The present results suggest that harmonization of the yield equations used within North America could be valuable and that there may be room to improve the accuracy of the different yield equations applied to the current beef population. Improvements to the lean yield algorithms using new technologies such as grade cameras or dual energy X-ray absorptiometry could benefit the industry by more accurately identifying animals with superior carcass lean meat yield, thereby enhancing selection decisions and overall industry sustainability.

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