Determination of the lean meat percentage of pig carcasses using magnetic resonance imaging

G. Collewet, P. Bogner, P. Allen, H. Busk, A. Dobrowolski, E. Olsen, A. Davenel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of Workpackage 3 of the European Eupigclass project was to test indirect methods of measuring the lean meat percentage of a carcass that would be less costly, at least as accurate and more consistent than dissection. Magnetic resonance imaging was one of the three indirect methods tested to measure the lean meat weight and the lean meat percentage of pig carcasses, the other methods being X-ray CT and vision techniques. One hundred and twenty carcasses from three different genotypes and from both sexes were slaughtered. The left parts of the carcasses were fully dissected and the right parts were investigated with an indirect method using a 1.5T MRI system. The acquisition protocol was chosen to give an optimized contrast between fat and muscle tissues. Two different approaches, image segmentation and PLS regression, were used to extract information from the images. Automatic image segmentation was performed to quantify the volume of muscle in the images and gave a standard error of prediction using a linear regression with the dissection of the left half carcasses of 586 g and 1.10% for lean meat weight and lean meat percentage, respectively. PLS regression using the signal intensities histograms gave an estimation error of 465 g for lean meat weight. These results showed that MRI could be used in place of full dissection for authorizing and monitoring classification equipment of pig carcasses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-572
Number of pages10
JournalMeat Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2005



  • Image segmentation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pig carcass grading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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