Simple Spot Method of Image Analysis for Evaluation of Highly Marbled Beef

  • Irie, M. (Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki) ;
  • Kohira, K. (National Livestock Breeding Center)
  • Received : 2011.05.16
  • Accepted : 2011.11.03
  • Published : 2012.04.01


The simple method of evaluating highly marbled beef was examined by image analysis. The images of the cross section at the 6 to 7th rib were obtained from 82 carcasses of Wagyu cattle. By using an overall trace method, the surrounding edges of the longissimus thoracis and three muscles were traced automatically and manually with image analysis. In a spot method, 3 to 5 locations (2.5 or 3.0 cm in diameter) for each muscle were rapidly selected with no manual trace. The images were flattened, binarized, and the ratio of fat area to muscle area was determined. The correlation coefficients for marbling between different muscles, and between the overall trace and the spot methods were 0.55 to 0.81 between different muscles and 0.89 to 0.97, respectively. These results suggested that the simple spot method is speedy and almost as useful as the overall trace method as a measuring technique for beef marbling in loin muscles, especially for highly marbled beef.


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