Danish Genetics paves the way to increased genetic value with a new project on meat quality and slaughter information

By Danish Genetics - Friday, 5 July 2019

Danish Genetics and Danish Technological Institute lead the way with a new breeding initiative. The project is the first of its kind to combine the newest technology in the form of CT scans with slaughter information from a project at Danish Crown for three Danish pig breeds in Denmark in order to identify prospects for faster genetic development within the breeding goal on meat quality.

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This spring has been marked by a significant increase in the internal resources, now followed by Danish Genetics lifting the veil on the first of many announced genetic development projects.

In a cooperation, Danish Technological Institute and Danish Genetics utilized slaughterhouse information (AutoFom) from an experiment at Danish Crown with CT-scans of breeding animals. In particular, the results provide a brand new and comprehensive knowledge of carcass composition, meat quality, and the level of primal cuts.

According to Danish Genetics the initiative is a crucial step along the road to a faster genetic gain for carcass and meat quality which consequents in an improvement of the production economy for the global pork producers.

“We have never had the intention of hiding our grand ambition or desire to take the lead on developing the genetic foundation of pig production. Neither of hiding the fact that we at Danish Genetics breeding program handle the entire value chain from pig production to the meat at retail level. We are breaking new grounds with this initiative, while creating improved and new knowledge of meat quality and carcass composition with CT-scans, which in a Danish context is something unique. The experiment contributes a substantial amount of data from cutting-edge CT-scans, which will be directed towards improving the genetic value, and thus providing the pork producers with better production economy,” Lars Dall, CEO of Danish Pig Genetics, says.

Unique projects lead to unique knowledge

Specifically, the work is about using new technologies for collecting more accurate data on meat and carcass composition from the breeding animal population, which makes the genetic work more precise than previously seen in Denmark.

In this initiative, a comprehensive quantity of information is gathered on every single breeding animal. For instance, on boar taint and results from more in-depth measurements of meat percentage, drip loss, color, and tenderness. The geneticists at Danish Pig Genetics gain valuable knowledge for the genetic development of the breeding program by combining slaughter information with Danish Technological Institute’s data, picture analyses of CT-scans, and boar taint information.

“Global trends show interests of consumers for better meat quality. To consider the consumers demand Danish Genetics utilises new technologies and sources of information in its breeding program to accelerate genetic progress for meat quality and better carcass composition. This results in our customers have better yield per slaughter pig and consumers enjoy the better meat quality. This results in added values to the production chain,” Mahmoud Shirali, senior geneticist at Danish Pig Genetics, says.

Knowledge is the path to value

Due to competition on the global market in pig production, Danish Genetics uses the newest technologies and knowledge to improve the breeding animals for the global pork producers. That is why research and development is such a fundamental part of the company and its actions.

“Innovation and extensive knowledge make us capable of developing and optimizing the breeding animals of tomorrow with greater precision than previously. This is an important step towards the breeding animals of the future in line with the demand of the customers, and more genetic development projects are on the way,” Lars Dall concludes.