A revolutionary scanning technology developed by Murdoch University and our research partners is delivering valuable new data to meat processors across Australia.DEXA, or dual x-ray absorptiometer technology, is a carcass measurement system which can accurately differentiate meat from fat and bone, offering considerable efficiency savings to Australia’s meat industry. The technology will not only bring greater accuracy in terms of meat yield and improved profit margins, it will also provide vital data which will help raise meat quality and consistency across the industry.
“In Australia, the bulk of lamb producers currently trade their lamb on the basis on carcase weight, but this can vary a great deal in the amount of saleable meat that’s in them - so in effect at retail, they’re actually very different in value," explained Professor Graham Gardner, who led the development of the technology.
"What DEXA allows processors to do, is to measure the amount of saleable meat in a carcase and as such their value in the market, enabling supply-chains to tailor their prices accordingly.”
The DEXA system also provides sheep farmers with analytics to gain a deeper understanding of which diet and genetic selection will yield the leanest and highest quality meat from their livestock.
This allows them to maximise the value from their sheep through greater amounts of saleable meat per carcase and a reduction in overfat carcases, which currently cost farmers in wasted nutrition, as well as abattoirs in labour required to trim off excess fat in order to meet consumer expectations.
“Australian sheep meat and lamb is a premium product, and DEXA assists sheep farmers to produce the best possible product they can for their consumers,” Professor Gardner said.
It’s one of a series of technologies from Murdoch’s Advanced Livestock Measurement Technologies project, led by Professor Gardner.
Learn more about the research of the Food Futures Institute.