Ovation New Zealand Ltd (Ovation) is partnering with inMR Measure Ltd (inMR) to test the development of an Intramuscular Fat (IMF) lamb grading technology, with support and co-funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund.
Developed by inMR, the Marbl™ technology uses a single-sided nuclear magnetic resonance sensor (like medical MRI) alongside the longissimus muscle to capture IMF measurements. A non-invasive, automated tool, Marbl™ can determine the IMF percentage, a key trait in the eating quality of lamb.
The project will prove and validate the application of the automated Marbl™ measurement system to define the percentage of IMF in New Zealand lamb for sorting and differentiation. This is an extension of the work which has been carried out with the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC).
Ovation NZ’s General Manager Alastair Bayliss says automatically and accurately measuring IMF on hot carcasses can help processors respond to market demands and greatly improve production efficiencies.
“Importantly, it will enable us to sort carcasses directly from the end of the processing floor into the chillers according to IMF percentage measurements,” he said.
InMR co-founder and director Dr Barbara Webster said over the course of the project, the Marbl™ technology will advance from a prototype system to a fully functional in-line, real-time automated measurement tool.
“The tool was previously trialled with 100 hot carcasses at Ovation’s Feilding Processing Plant before it was shipped to Australia, where more than 1000 hot carcasses were measured over two different seasons.”
“This pushes the technology down the path to commercialisation for the whole industry,” she said.
Ovation will support this project with co-funding and Bayliss says, “The entire Ovation team are thrilled to be involved in this project based in our Gisborne processing facility.”
“Leading the way in this innovative new technology is very exciting for us. We have a large focus on increased value to the farmer and also the consumer, and are looking forward to being part of something that helps build a stronger lamb industry in New Zealand.
Source: Ovation NZ