Relationship of Alternative Measures of Pork Carcass Composition

Purdue University 2000 Swine Research Report. Pork carcass and empty body composition research has been conducted to evaluate effects of experimental treatment, to model pig growth, and to evaluate pork production systems. Alternative endpoints included physical carcass dissection, fat-free or fat-standardized dissected lean mass, mass of trimmed retail cuts, and empty body chemical composition. Scientists with an interest in modeling pig growth and predicting nutrient requirements require accurate predictions of empty body chemical composition (Schinckel and de Lange, 1996). In past research, dissected lean in the four lean cuts was measured for its strong relationship to carcass value. Recently, two methods of separating the soft tissue components have been used: (1) to adjust dissected lean to a fat-free tissue or fat-standardized basis, and (2) to adjust carcass soft tissue mass for the chemically determined lipid content. These two methods of determining and measuring carcass composition appear to be quite similar, but may result in substantially different outcomes when utilized in lean growth modeling and in determining nutrient requirements. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the alternative methods of defining pork carcass composition and develop further understanding of the interrelationships among various pork carcass and empty body composition endpoints.