Additional indicators as a complement to the EUROP system

This study is based on a publication in Livestock Science (2017) 202: 44-51 and in a chapter of the book “La Chaîne de la Viande Bovine – Production, Transformation, Valorisation et Consommation de la viande bovine” to be published by Lavoisier editions. The aim of this study was to propose an additional set of indicators as a complement to the EUROP system, to characterize beef carcasses in slaughterhouses in a more precise way. The EUROP system includes only 4 indicators (category of animal, conformation score, fat score and hot carcass weight). The complexity of the carcass and the multiple interests of stakeholders in the production chain are consequently not considered. A scientific inventory (142 articles from 2010 to 2015) identified 89 operational candidate indicators in slaughterhouse, i.e. without significantly disrupting the slaughter chain and without depreciating the value of the carcass. These indicators were organized according to a hierarchical structure by the authors’ appraisal to select them. Indicators were selected based on the hierarchical structure according to their citation ranking in the literature and by ensuring that they were not redundant to the EUROP system and between them. Finally, a set of five indicators is proposed: hindquarter weight, meat colour, retail-cut yield, rib-eye area and marbling score.