Lamb carcass grading
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Lamb Carcass Grading. Yield Grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 expected yield of closely-trimmed cuts from the leg, loin, rack, and shoulder (80% of the weight and 90% of the value. Quality Grade Prime, Choice, Good, Utility, Cull predicts expected palatability (tenderness, juiciness, flavor).

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Lamb Carcass Grading

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Lamb carcass grading

Lamb Carcass Grading


Usda s dual grading system

Yield Grade

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

expected yield of closely-trimmed cuts from the leg, loin, rack, and shoulder (80% of the weight and 90% of the value

Quality Grade

Prime, Choice, Good, Utility, Cull

predicts expected palatability (tenderness, juiciness, flavor)

USDA’s Dual Grading System


Determination of class and kind

Determination of Class and Kind

Class – Ewe, Wether, Ram

1. Udder (smooth) or cod fat (rough)

2. Conformation

  • Yearling mutton

  • P,C,G,U / 1 – 5

  • 12 – 25 month

  • spool or imperfect break joints

  • slightly to mod., dk. red flank

  • mod wide / flat/ reddish ribs

  • 3.Mutton

  • P,C,G,U / 1 – 5

  • > 24 months

  • spool joints

  • dark to very dk. red flank

  • wide, flat, white ribs

Kind – Maturity

  • Lamb (A/B)

    P,C,G,U,C / 1 - 5

  • 2 – 14 month

  • at least one perfect break joint

  • slightly dark, pink flank

  • round / red ribs


Break joint versus spool joint

Break joint versus Spool joint


Usda yield grade

Purpose to segregate carcasses into cutablity groups based on the expected yield of closely-trimmed cuts from the leg, loin, rack, and shoulder (80% of the weight and 90% of the value

Expected Yields

YG 1 – 49.8% or more

YG 2 – 49.7% - 48.6%

YG 3 – 48.4% - 47.3%

YG 4 – 47.1% - 46.0%

YG 5 – 45.8% or less

USDA Yield Grade


Usda yield grade1

USDA Yield Grade

USDA Yield Grades – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

- Avg yield grade of US lamb

carcasses is upper 3

USDA YG = (10 x 12th rib fat) + 0.4


Usda quality grade

USDA Quality Grade

  • Predicts the eating quality of cooked lamb cuts from the Shoulder, Rack, Loin, and Leg

    – (Prime +,◦,-; Choice +,◦,-; Good +,◦,-; Utility, Cull)

    – 90+% of U.S. lamb carcasses grade Pr or Ch

  • Based on:

    • Maturity (lamb, yearling mutton, mutton)

    • Flank streaking (Traces, Slight, Small, Modest, etc.)

    • Conformation (Prime +,◦,-; Choice +,◦,-; Good +,◦,-)

    • Flank and fat firmness

    • Minimum fat thickness


Lamb carcass grading

Carcass Conformation

Flank Streaking Classes

Pr° Pr- Ch° Ch- Gd+


Preliminary quality grade adjustments for conformation

Preliminary Quality Grade Adjustments for Conformation

  • Must have minimum Prime PQG for Prime grade.

  • In P & Ch, superior PQG can compensate for inferior conf. on an equal basis.

  • In Choice, superior conf. can compensate for inferior PQG on an equal basis for 1/3 grade.

  • In Good, PQG and conformation can compensate for each other on an equal basis for 1/3 grade.


Criteria for placing lamb carcasses

Criteria for Placing Lamb Carcasses

1. Trimness / Fatness

2. Muscling

3. Dimension / Weight

Minimum Quality – Prime and Choice


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