Skip to main content Accessibility help

An assessment of carcass probes for use in Great Britain for the EC pig Carcass Grading Scheme

  • G. L. Cook (a1), J. P. Chadwick (a1) and A. J. Kempster (a1)


To gain approval for use in the revised European Community (EC) Pig Grading Scheme to be introduced in 1989, methods of estimating carcass lean proportion must be shown to do so with a coefficient of determination greater than 0·64 and a residual s.d. of less than 25 g/kg. A trial was carried out to assess a number of methods for use in the EC Scheme as applied in Great Britain. Subcutaneous fat and m. longissimus depths at the head of the last rib and at the third/fourth from last rib were measured using the optical probe (OP), the Fat-O-Meater (FOM), the Hennessy Grading Probe II (HGP) and the Destron PG-100 Probe (DST) on a broad sample of 162 commercial carcasses representative of the ranges in fatness and weight found nationally. The left side of each carcass was separated into component tissues. Although the instruments all achieved similar levels of accuracy in predicting carcass lean proportion, some differences were found. The DST just failed to reach the required statistical criteria for approval in the EC Scheme. The results for the other three instruments were submitted to Brussels as evidence of suitability and they have been approved.

Using the regression relationships found between carcass composition and fat thickness together with results from earlier studies, it was estimated that the carcass separable fat proportion of British slaughter pigs has fallen at the annual rate of 7 g/kg since 1975.



Hide All
Allen, P. 1985. An Evaluation of Automatic Grading Probes for Predicting the Lean Meat Content of Pork Carcasses. Report by the Meat Research Department, An Foras Talúntais.
Commission of The European Communities. 1979. Development of uniform methods of pig carcass classification in the EEC. Information on Agriculture Series, No. 70. Commission of the European Communities, Brussels.
Commission of The European Communities. 1987. Official Journal No. L 1461/66.
Cuthbertson, A. 1968. PIDA dissection techniques. Proceedings of the Symposium on Methods of Carcass Evaluation, European Association for Animal Production, Dublin. (Mimeograph.)
Diestre, A., Gispert, M. and Oliver, M. A.The evaluation of automatic probes in Spain for the new scheme for pig carcass grading according to the EC regulations. Animal Production 48: 443448.
Diestre, A. and Kempster, A. J. 1985. The estimation of pig carcass composition from different measurements with special reference to classification and grading. Animal Production 41: 383391.
Fortin, A., Jones, S. D. M. and Haworth, C. R. 1984. Pork carcass grading: a comparison of the New Zealand Hennessy Grading Probe and the Danish Fat-O-Meater. Meat Science 10: 131144.
Kempster, A. J., Cmadwick, J. P. and Jones, D. W. 1985. An evaluation of the Hennessy Grading Probe and the SFK Fat-O-Meater for use in pig carcass classification and grading. Animal Production 40: 323329.
Kempster, A. J., Cook, G. L. and Grantley-smith, M. 1986. National estimates of the body composition of British cattle, sheep and pigs with special reference o t trends in fatness. A review. Meat Science 17: 107138.
Kempster, A. J., Cuthbertson, A. and Harrington, G. 1982. Carcase Evaluation in Livestock Breeding, Production and Marketing, pp. 132145. Granada, St Albans.
Meat and Livestock Commission. 1988. Pig Yearbook. Meat and Livestock Commission, Bletchley.
Usborne, W. R., Menton, D. and McMillan, I. 1985. Accuracy of measurement and yield prediction of the PG-100 electronic pork grading probe. Report to Destron Ltd from the University of Guelph. (Mimeograph.)

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

An assessment of carcass probes for use in Great Britain for the EC pig Carcass Grading Scheme

  • G. L. Cook (a1), J. P. Chadwick (a1) and A. J. Kempster (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.