The pig meat industry is an important contributor to the European economy with a turnover of 66.3 billion € and some 560,000 employees. The sector is suffering significant continuous decline due to the continued pressures of low prices, high feed costs and the consequences of livestock diseases, leading to a gradual loss of world market share, falling to 16% of global exports by 2020, compared to 27% in 2009.
To maintain sector viability is necessary to increase productivity and raise the standards of quality. Partners behind this proposal have identified the need for a technology that accurately analyse pig carcasses, gathering vital information of the lean-fat content in the whole carcass and its primal cuts (ham, loin, belly and shoulder), without which 30-40% of all processed meats do not reach the expected final quality. Pig meat processors will select higher quality meats for higher added-value processes, while lower quality meats will be separated and treated to achieve an acceptable and consistent final quality. PIGSCAN will also ensure fair payment to the pig producer and this will spur them to ensuring the optimal quality of their animals, through better feeding and breeding.
PIGSCAN relies on a solid technology background of the SME proposers arising from a sixth Framework Program Research Project (MEATGRADING nº COOP-CT-2005-01761).
Experts in carcass quality (IRTA and DTI), pig meat processors (VION) and SME proposers (LENZ and G&M) will develop PIGSCAN system, an automatic, non-contact grading system based on Magnetic Induction and Image Analysis. The commercial price will be of €80,000; an investment recoverable in 6 months of operation for vast majority of slaughterhouses and pig meat processing companies in the EU.
With a time-to-market of 12 months, PIGSCAN represents a real business opportunity for the SMEs proposers LENZ and G&M, who will jointly exploit the results to reach a foreseen 2.5% EU market penetration over a 5-year period.
Call for proposal
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