NCBA REPORT - Adding Value To The Beef Carcase

US - The US beef industry has been able to increase the value of the beef carcase by between $50 and $70 a head thanks to the development of new carcase cutting techniques putting value into traditionally cheaper cuts, writes TheCattleSite senior Editor Chris Harris, reporting from the NCBA convention in San Antonio.
calendar icon 28 January 2010
clock icon 2 minute read

During education sessions at the Cattlemen's College, Bridget Wasser, the NCBA director of product enhancement and Jim Ethridge, the NCBA director of new product industry partnership demonstrated the development of high value cuts from forequarter meat and also revealed new cuts that are being launched onto the market.

They showed that by muscle profiling and producing single muscle cuts from the chuck and round - traditionally poorer meat cuts - it is possible to add value to the animal.

There is 69 per cent of the carcase in the chuck and round and economics says that you have got to get value from these cuts up," said Mr Etheridge.

"The environment changes year to year, but the carcase cut out doesn't."

Bridget Wasser showed that from the whole shoulder clod, through cutting out single muscles, it is possible to produce tender steaks with the infraspinatus muscle proving to be the second most tender muscle inn the carcase - second to tenderloin.

The research being carried out by the NCBA has managed to raise the value of the carcase by between $50 and $70 since 1998 and both foodservice and retail have been increasing their production of steaks from the fore quarter.

In 2008, the foodservice sector in the US had sold 83 million pounds of flat iron steaks, 42 million pounds of Petite Tender steaks and 36 million pounds of Ranch Steaks all produced from the shoulder muscle, compared to 25 million pounds of porterhouse steaks and 51 million pounds of T-bone steaks.

The retail volume of forequarter produced steaks has risen from 4.1 million pounds in 2005 to 18.5 million pounds in 2008.

During the demonstration at the convention, Ms Wasser showed how new products had been developed by the NCBA development team with Checkoff support from the chuck eye including three steaks and boneless ribs as well as other tender cuts from the underblade.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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