Indexed on: 04 Jun '11Published on: 04 Jun '11Published in: Meat Science
An NIR imaging scanner was calibrated for on-line determination of the fat content of beef trimmings. A good calibration model was obtained for fat in intact beef (R=0.98, RMSECV=3.0%). The developed model could be used on single pixels to get an image of the fat distribution, or on the average spectrum from each trimming/portion of trimmings passing under the scanner. The fat model gave a rather high prediction error (RMSEP=8.7%) and a correlation of 0.84 when applied to 45 single trimmings with average fat content ranging from 1.6 to 49.3% fat. Test measurements on streams of trimmings making up batches varying from 10 to 24 kg gave a much lower prediction error (RMSEP=1.33%). Simulations based on true measurements indicate that the RMSEP decreases with increasing batch size and, for the present case, reached about 0.6% for 100 kg batches. The NIR scanner was tested on six batches of intact trimmings varying from 145 to 210 kg and gave similar fat estimates as an established microwave system obtained on the ground batches. The proven concept should be applicable to on-line estimation of fat in trimmings in order to determine the batch fat content and also to control the production of batches to different target fat levels. A possible requirement for the concept to work properly is that the trimming or layer of trimmings on the belt is not too thick. In this study maximum thickness was about 8 cm. Thicker trimmings might be measured, but careful hardware adjustments are then required.