Meat yield in Norwegian slaughter pigs - prediction of, and covariance between, ham, bacon, chops and other products

Collaboration with Hilde Vinje, Bioinformatics & Applied Statistics (BIAS), KBM

Pork is the most widely eaten meat in Norway and the world accounting for approximately 39% and 36% of the total meat intake respectively. The average Norwegian consumed approximately 26 kg of pork meat in 2018. A carcass of pork is split in four main cuts; ham, loin, belly and shoulder. These main cuts are is processed further into a number of commercial products, bacon, chops, cured ham, trimmings, steaks, spareribs, ribs etc. The demand for these products vary between them, between marked and over time. Based on commercial and sustainability considerations, it is desirable that the composition of pig carcasses corresponds to consumer demands. We assume that pig carcass composition varies with overall fatness, carcass weight, gender and breed.

In order to do the analysis data from Animalia’s pilot plant might be utilized. Weight and content of fat, meat and bone for commercial parts are registered (see Gangsei, 2018 for details) for approximately 1500 Norwegian slaughter pigs. Data might be analyzed by multivariate response linear regression models. Applying logit inspired responses, and possibly utilizing the Matrix Normal distribution are possibilities that might improve interpretation capabilities for the model.

The aim of study is to evaluate how carcass composition vary with carcass weight, overall fat content, breed and gender. Furthermore, when these effects are accounted for we want to analyze the covariance between the relative sizes of different parts of pig carcasses. Answers too these questions are important for slaughterhouses, pig farmers, farmer organizations and breeding companies, in order to improve commercial yield and streamline resource utilization.


Gangsei, L. E., Bjerke, F., Røe, M., & Alvseike, O. (2018). Monitoring lean meat percentage predictions from optical grading probes by a commercial cutting pattern. Meat science, 137, 98-105.