PROCEDURE FOR ASSESSMENT OF THE LEAN MEAT PERCENTAGE AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE NEW EU REFERENCE DISSECTION METHOD IN PIG CARCASS CLASSIFICATION
Pig carcass grading based on instrumental classification has as a purpose the stimulation of the producers in producing pigs of the desired quality. Council Regulation EC Nr. 3220/84 says: the classification should be linked to the muscular tissue percentage obtained from the dissection, as much as possible using a knife, on all striated muscular tissues from the carcass. The reference method involved is laborious. In 1990/1991, a test was done by CE with the purpose of finding a much simple dissection method. The results of this test were described by Cook and Yates (1992). A general agreement was reached; the dissection would be made only on the four main parts, which represent 75% from the total of the striated muscles. The striated muscles are known as the muscles from the skeleton which have a transversal structure in the microscope light. In consequence, once the numerator changed according with the denominator, this leads to a radical change of the lean meat percentage. However, the introduction of a scaling factor allows an average EU level of about 55% muscular tissue.
Key words: pig carcass, grading, dissection, lean meat, EU refference