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Validation of the EUROP system for lamb classification in Norway; repeatability and accuracy of visual assessment and prediction of lamb carcass composition

Johansen, J., Aastveit, A.H., Egelandsdal, B., Kvaal, K., Roe, M.
Meat science 2006 v.74 no.3 pp. 497-509
slaughterhouses, lamb carcasses, lamb meat, carcass composition, backfat, dressing percentage, lean meat, body fat, classification, meat quality, meat grades, carcass grading, repeatability, accuracy, Common Agricultural Policy, Europe
The EUROP classification system is based on visual assessment of carcass conformation and fatness. The first objective was to test the EUROP classification repeatability and accuracy of the national senior assessors of the system in Norway. The second objective was to test the accuracy of the trained and certified abattoir EUROP classifiers in Norway relative to EU Commission's supervising assessors. The third and final objective was to test the accuracy of the EUROP classification system, as assessed by the National senior assessors, for prediction of lean meat, fat and bone percentage and lean meat in relation to bone ratio. The results showed that the repeatability and accuracy of the national senior assessors was good, achieving high correlations both for conformation and fatness. For the abattoir assessors, there were some systematic differences compared to EU Commission's assessors, but these differences were within limits accepted by EU Commission. The relationship between abattoir and national senior assessors was good, with only small systematic differences. This may suggest that there also is a systematic difference between the national senior assessors of the system and EU Commission's assessors. The EUROP system predicted lean meat percentage poorly (R2 = 0.407), with a prediction error for 3.027% lean. For fat and bone percentage, the results showed a fairly good prediction of fat percentage, but poorer for bone percentage, R2 = 0.796 and R2 = 0.450, respectively. The prediction error for fat and bone percentage was 2.300% and 2.125%, respectively. Lean: bone ratio was predicted poorly (R2 = 0.212), with a prediction error of 0.363 lean: bone ratio.