Hubbard unveils the results of using a scanner through the Genetech By Grimaud communication campaign
Hubbard, subsidiary of Groupe Grimaud, has now been using scanners in its selection programme for almost three years. Scanner imaging technology makes it possible to measure carcass composition in a highly accurate and non-destructive manner, as well as to precisely determine related elements such as meat, muscles, fat, viscera and bones. This technology has greatly accelerated the company's genetic advances of its products.
These advances stem in particular from the real cross-cutting synergy which exists between Groupe Grimaud subsidiaries on both sides of the Atlantic. Today the group has four scanners in continuous use: two in the USA and two in France.
How does it work?
The scanners we use are similar to those employed by the medical profession. The principle is identical: the different shades in the image reflect the degree of absorption of the X-rays: each tissue of which the scanned object is composed reacts differently to X-ray exposure. This makes it possible for us to identify the type of tissue of which the animal is composed: muscle, viscera, fatty tissues, etc.
In addition, thanks to a powerful algorithm, the scanner can be used to analyse several animals and to automatically calculate the different proportions of which each animal is composed. This technology is not intended to replace traditional selection methods, but it enables us to complete and refine the information obtained on each animal.
Key benefits of the scanner
The introduction of this technology into our selection work brings three key benefits:
1. Greater precision
Between selection by conformation scoring and final results, we obtain a correlation rate of 66% (see graph) whereas the correlation between the results obtained using a scanner and actual breast meat yield is 93% (see graph). Animals selected in this way provide the desired intrinsic qualities to a high degree.
2. A non-destructive technology
Without slaughtering the animal, and ensuring its welfare, it is possible for us to obtain information on characteristics that we could not otherwise have obtained without cutting up.
3. Measuring new characteristics
The scanner makes it possible to study new selection criteria and to analyse their development precisely over the course of time, thereby complementing the already existing information.
Results are already evident in the field
After three years of use within the R&D programme across the full range of conventional and Premium Hubbard products, the results are starting to be seen in concrete form in the field, and will be accelerated in 2017. In the first instance, there has been a significant increase in meat yield results.
Use of the scanner has also made it possible to maintain and improve Hubbard's advances in terms of leg quality, foot pad lesions and hock burn, as well as meat quality.
Furthermore, we are now able to tell you about an important development for the Hubbard male range: the new Hubbard M22 male, selected using this tool. If we compare its performance with the other males we can observe results of 1.5% additional yield on average, while also retaining the desired meat qualities. The genetic potential of this new Hubbard male has been shown to be very significant.
Ultimately, all these benefits make it possible to accelerate genetic advancement and reinforce Hubbard's commitment to supply its customers with solutions suited to their needs.
Genetech by Grimaud: you may be wondering exactly what this entails.
For several years, Groupe Grimaud's selection companies have been developing the application of new innovative technologies to their multi-species animal genetics lines, and the results can now be seen in the field. We have therefore decided to produce a communication campaign on this multi-technology disruptive innovation strategy undertaken within the group. This communication campaign is entitled "Genetech By Grimaud", the first part of which is based around the scanner imaging technology. Watch this space: in the course of 2017 we will inform you about advances related to the use of other innovative tools.
In the meantime: come and visit us at the different exhibitions to take a virtual tour of our scanner room, or check out the website dedicated to the application of new technologies at Groupe Grimaud: www.genetechbygrimaud.com.
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