Australian Beef Chiller Assessment
Australian meat processors objectively measure carcass quality using an industry program called Chiller Assessment. Chiller Assessment was developed to enable AUS-MEAT-accredited enterprises to assess or class carcasses using a uniform set of standards under controlled conditions. The system provides a means of describing meat characteristics and classifying product prior to packaging. These characteristics include the color of the meat and fat, amount of marbling, eye muscle area, rib fat and maturity of the carcass.
Assessments are made by qualified, regularly audited assessors, and results are assigned to each carcass to provide a means of carcass selection according to individual contract specifications.
The AUS-MEAT Chiller Assessment Language is only available to AUS-MEAT-accredited enterprises, their clients and suppliers.
Beef and Veal – Meat Color
Meat color is the predominant color of the rib eye muscle (M. longissimus dorsi). Meat color is assessed on the chilled carcass at the rib eye muscle area and is scored against the AUS-MEAT color reference standards.
Fat color is assessed by comparing the intramuscular fat color lateral to the M. longissimus dorsi and adjacent to the M. iliocostalis, and is scored against the AUS-MEAT fat color reference standards.
The AUS-MEAT marbling system provides an indication of the amount of marbling in beef. Marbling is the fat that is deposited between muscle fibers of the M. longissumus dorsi muscle. Marbling is assessed and scored against the AUS-MEAT marbling reference standards.
Rib Fat Measurement
Subcutaneous rib fat measurement indicates in millimeters the thickness of subcutaneous fat at a specified rib. Total rib fat measurement specifies in millimeters the thickness of subcutaneous fat and intramuscular fat at the specified rib.
Maturity is an estimation of the development of a beef carcass determined by the degree of ossification of the dorsal spinous processes of the vertebrae, the fusing of the vertebrae and the shape and color of the rib bones. Meat Standards Australia™ (MSA) Beef Grading Program predicts eating quality by grade, cooking method and aging requirement to guarantee the tenderness of beef for consumers.
The MSA grades are determined by calculating the direct and interactive effects of factors which affect beef eating quality. Such factors include breed, sex, marbling, age, growth history, carcass quality attributes, processing methods and treatments.
To find out more visit the MSA website.