Prediction of intramuscular fat levels in Texel lamb loins using X-ray computed tomography scanning.

Meat science

PubMedID: 24973776

Clelland N, Bunger L, McLean KA, Conington J, Maltin C, Knott S, Lambe NR. Prediction of intramuscular fat levels in Texel lamb loins using X-ray computed tomography scanning. Meat Sci. 2014;98(2):263-271.
For the consumer, tenderness, juiciness and flavour are often described as the most important factors for meat eating quality, all of which have a close association with intramuscular fat (IMF). X-ray computed tomography (CT) can measure fat, muscle and bone volumes and weights, in vivo in sheep and CT predictions of carcass composition have been used in UK sheep breeding programmes over the last few decades. This study aimed to determine the most accurate combination of CT variables to predict IMF percentage of M. longissimus lumborum in Texel lambs. As expected, predicted carcass fat alone accounted for a moderate amount of the variation (R(2)=0.51) in IMF. Prediction accuracies were significantly improved (Adj R(2)>0.65) using information on fat and muscle densities measured from three CT reference scans, showing that CT can provide an accurate prediction of IMF in the loin of purebred Texel sheep.