New technologies being developed on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc will allow abattoirs to classify the primal pork cuts according to their quality characteristics allowing them to be directed to the highest value customer.
A multi-institutional team of scientists working on behalf of Swine Innovation Pork is developing new tools that will enable the classification of the primal pork cuts of Canadian pork based on quality and end use characteristics.
Dr. Manuel Juarez, a Livestock Phenomics Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Lacombe Research and Development Centre, says these technologies range from very low to very high tech but they all need to be applicable to commercial conditions, they have to be user friendly and they all need to have a minimum level of accuracy.
The approaches and the technologies are going to be different for the different defects or quality characteristics but the way we are developing all of these systems in general is quite similar. We work with the packers. We identify what we are doing today in terms of classifying for these attributes. We discuss with them also how that can be enhanced, if there is value in doing so because in some cases classification may not be worth any change. From there we come up with different concepts, with different prototypes, we test them at the research level to start with.
We have our own abattoir and animals here at Lacombe so we start developing some of these prototypes and testing them on site. After that we bring in meat from commercial packers, we test the meat in our lab with these commercial primals. From there we start testing them in the actual commercial plants, either by us going to the plant or, during COVID, most likely sending the equipment to our collaborators and they can test it.
~ Dr. Manuel Juarez, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Dr. Juarez notes primals that are sold to a premium buyer can bring back anywhere from a 15 to 35 percent higher price than a commodity product.