Murdoch technology leading $150m industry revolution

November 17, 2016

The latest automatic scanning technology developed by researchers at Murdoch University is set to be rolled out across Australia’s red meat supply chain.

DEXA technology will revolutionise the red meat industry

DEXA technology will revolutionise the red meat industry

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has announced plans to install revolutionary objective carcass measurement technology (OCM) at slaughter facilities across Australia.

Associate Professor Graham Gardner, from the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, developed the dual x-ray absorptiometer (DEXA) technology in collaboration with engineers from Scott Automation & Robotics.

The device can accurately differentiate meat from bone and the benefits of this greater accuracy will generate efficiency savings to Australia’s meat industry.

In May this year, it was announced that Murdoch University would lead a $12.5m project on behalf of MLA.

Around 15 per cent of this amount will be used to develop the technology.

The remaining funding will be used to further lamb and beef algorithm refinement, develop eating quality and live animal measures, align databases and promote producer-processor feedback.

Last week, MLA announced plans to install the technology across the industry, through a $150m finance package for slaughter facilities.

MLA Managing Director Richard Norton said: “The most important product of OCM is the data it will generate.

“We’re now at a stage where our small stock DEXA technology is ready for commercial deployment.

“For beef, our DEXA research and development is nearing completion and will be ready for commercial installation trials during 2017.

“Once the first stage of OCM is installed, both systems will provide valuable information for the supply chain, including saleable meat yield, bone and fat.

“The systems will become more and more valuable as ongoing research and development enhances the application of OCM around all conceivable measures.”

Animals are sold based on their weight, not the quality or quantity of meat they provide.

DEXA scanning technology will enable the industry to extract maximum value for producers, processors, retailers and consumers.

The system can accurately measure and differentiate meat from fat and bone, meaning that producers could be paid for the meat they deliver.

MLA will finance the $150 million one-off cost of installing DEXA technology in up to 90 registered slaughter facilities throughout Australia.

Professor Gardner is delighted that the DEXA scanning technology has now been selected by the Australian meat industry as the key to future efficiency savings.

He said: “This is a game-changing moment for Australia’s meat industry.

“I’m immensely proud of everyone involved in the research and development of this technology.

“Once the system has been fully implemented, Australia will set the standards which the international industry will follow.”

Professor David Morrison, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research & Innovation at Murdoch, said: “Murdoch is a translational research university that delivers the results from basic research into practice and industry uptake."

"Professor Gardner’s works is a terrific example of this philosophy at work.”

The rollout of DEXA technology will not only bring greater accuracy in terms of meat yield and improved profit margins, it will also provide vital data which will help raise meat quality and consistency across the industry.

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Comments (One response)

ANDREW TAGGART November 22, 2016

Great work Graham and team. Protein is on the menu in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and MU will be leading the way in quality product.

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