Using current on-line carcass evaluation parameters to estimate boneless and bone-in pork carcass yield as influenced by trim level. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of this study was to develop prediction equations for estimating proportional carcass yield to a variety of external trim levels and bone-in and boneless pork primal cuts. Two hundred pork carcasses were selected from six U.S. pork processing plants and represented USDA carcass grades (25% USDA #1, 36% USDA #2, 25% USDA #3, and 14% USDA #4). Carcasses were measured (prerigor and after a 24 h chill) for fat and muscle depth at the last rib (LR) and between the third and fourth from last rib (TH) with a Hennessy optical grading probe (OGP). Carcasses were shipped to Texas A&M University, where one was randomly assigned for fabrication. Selected sides were fabricated to four lean cuts (ham, loin, Boston butt, and picnic shoulder) then fabricated progressively into bone-in (BI) and boneless (BL) four lean cuts (FLC) trimmed to .64, .32, and 0 cm of s.c. fat, and BL 0 cm trim, seam fat removed, four lean cuts (BLS-OFLC). Total dissected carcass lean was used to calculate the percentage of total carcass lean (PLEAN). Lean tissue subsamples were collected for chemical fat-free analysis and percentage carcass fat-free lean (FFLEAN) was determined. Longissimus muscle area and fat depth also were collected at the 10th and 11th rib interface during fabrication. Regression equations were developed from linear carcass and OGP measurements predicting FLC of each fabrication point. Loin muscle and fat depths from the OPG obtained on warm, prerigor carcasses at the TH interface were more accurate predictors of fabrication end points than warm carcass probe depth obtained at the last rib or either of the chilled carcass probe sites (probed at TH or LR). Fat and loin muscle depth obtained via OGP explained 46.7, 52.6, and 57.1% (residual mean square error [RMSE] = 3.30, 3.19, and 3.04%) of the variation in the percentage of BI-FLC trimmed to .64, .32, and 0 cm of s.c. fat, respectively, and 49.0, 53.9, and 60.7% (RMSE = 2.91, 2.81, and 2.69%) of the variation in the percentage of BL-FLC trimmed to .64, .32, and 0 cm of s.c. fat, respectively. Fat and loin muscle depth from warm carcass OGP probes at the TH interface accounted for 62.4 and 63.5% (RMSE = 3.38 and 3.27%) of the variation in PLEAN and FFLEAN, respectively. These equations provide an opportunity to estimate pork carcass yield for a variety of procurement end point equations using existing on-line techniques.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Berg, E. P., Grams, D. W., Miller, R. K., Wise, J. W., Forrest, J. C., & Savell, J. W.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Berg, EP||Grams, DW||Miller, RK||Wise, JW||Forrest, JC||Savell, JW

publication date

  • August 1999