How to cut pigs to achieve the highest possible yield

Paul Andreas Holger Dirac

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How to cut pigs to achieve the highest possible yield

Abattoirs can increase their yields on raw materials by using CT scanning to look inside carcasses. The scans can be used to determine what products can be made from a carcass and how it should be cut.

For the past 10 years, DTI has been working with CT scanning of carcasses and cuts. This has generated considerable competences in using and interpreting the 3D images of carcass sections. What is more, carcass scanning is now an accepted EU reference method for measuring meat content, lowering the costs of Danish classification control. Customers in Sweden and Norway have also been able to use this objective method in the process of approving new equipment that measures the meat content of carcasses.

- Our CT scanning of half carcasses allows us to see exactly what is meat, fat and bones. We can even see where the individual sub-cuts are located in the carcass, says Marchen Hviid, DTI Senior Consultant, adding that this information is very valuable: Abattoirs can use CT scanning to decide what products to make from a carcass and how it should be cut, all depending on the content and distribution of meat, fat and bones in the individual pig carcass.

New system makes life easier for Tican a.m.b.a.
In the summer of 2011, DTI completed a project aimed precisely at optimising the use of raw materials at bacon factories. In this connection, DTI established a database containing scans of a wide variety of half carcasses covering the Danish pig population.

As part of the project, DTI developed some programs capable of making virtual product cuts on all scanned carcasses, for instance from backs for the British bacon market.

Danish Crown a.m.b.a and Tican a.m.b.a. participated as partners in the project and acquired new knowledge about the thickness of fat in the midsection and the placement of bones as a function of the slaughtering process.

- We see great potential in the system developed in the project and will use the results to prepare yield formulas that let us calculate and optimise cutting yields. The cutting program developed saves us time and allows us to assure the quality of our decisions, says Torben Z. Kock, Production Manager at Tican a.m.b.a.