Video promotes greater understanding of VIA technology

AHDB Beef & Lamb is aiming to increase understanding about the use of Video Image Analysis (VIA) in beef carcase classification through a new video.

Abattoirs slaughtering over 75 cattle per week are legally obliged to carry out the classification process to assess the conformation and fat class of a carcase. Usually the process is conducted by licenced human classifiers, but since the VIA E+V 2000 system was approved, a number of British plants have begun using the technology.

VIA works by taking a series of images of one side of a carcase to calculate features including length, width, angles, volume and colours. These measurements are then used to determine the conformation and fat class of the carcase using the 15-point grid.

Relatively little accessible information is available for beef producers to explain this innovative technology, which is why AHDB Beef & Lamb has produced a video demonstrating the full VIA carcase classification process.

Liz Ford, AHDB Beef & Lamb knowledge exchange manager – North West, said: “By capturing the full classification process, we hope to provide beef producers with a greater understanding of carcase classification and particularly how VIA classification works.

“Producers have specifically raised concerns that VIA uses the 15-point grid as opposed to the traditional EUROP grid, meaning that in some cases specifications and pricing may have been refined. However, what many producers are not aware of is that in some plants, trained and licenced classification staff also use the 15-point grid.”

The video is available to view on the AHDB Beef & Lamb YouTube channel. For more information about VIA systems please contact Liz Ford by emailing Liz.Ford@ahdb.org.uk.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.