Lean Meat Yield
The amount of meat recovered from a carcase is a key driver of profitability for beef producers, processors and retailers. The measure of this which has been adopted as a standard is the percentage yield of lean meat (LMY). This is focussed on lean meat rather than saleable meat to allow for different levels of trim. It is expressed as a percentage (LMY%) so that it is independent of variation in carcase weight.
Beef carcases with greater LMY have more muscle and less fat. It is currently estimated from hot standard carcase weight (HSCW) and MSA graded rib fat depth and can include eye muscle area. Industry is moving toward a more accurate dual x-ray (DEXA) system. MSA graded attributes such as pH, MSA marbling and ossification are important indicators of eating quality that should be considered with LMY%. Objective measurements of eating quality are the subject of current research. LMY% and eating quality are affected by both nutrition and genetics so producers can make informed management decisions to maximise carcase value.