Meat Quality and Technical Services


CDPQ has developed a great deal of know-how about the various meat quality-related measurements. This means we can follow the constantly evolving needs of the markets. CDPQ also supports the industry’s objectives of reducing the costs that a non-compliant quality level brings about.
Today our team's expertise, originally developed in the swine sector, is put to use in several animal species (e.g. beef/dairy cattle, sheep, rabbits).

Main services offered:
  • Statistical analyses, breakdown of the costs of non-compliant meat quality and analysis of probable causes
  • Implementation of plans to improve the technological and sensory quality of pork meat
  • Implementation of management systems for factors that influence meat quality Examples:
    • Defects on the skin
    • Tattoos
    • Feed withdrawal
The most important measurements performed on carcasses and meat cuts:
  • Meat quality measurements:
    • Drip loss
    • pH level
    • Firmness
    • Color
    • Intramuscular fat percentage
  • Performance measurements:
    • Carcass length
    • Weight of primal cuts
    • Loin eye area

The CDPQ technical services team sets the standard in Canada now for ultrasonic measurements, for both commercial producers and stakeholders from different sectors.
This expertise initially developed in pig production is now available for several other animal species (e.g. sheep, cattle, wild boars, fish).

Main services offered (pigs):
  • Measurements done on-farm, on live pigs, as part of the Genetic Evaluation of Purebred Pigs Program or as private services: backfat measurements, depth of loin muscle measurements , estimation of intramuscular fat percentage and weight measurements (growth)
  • Backfat measurement for estimation of body reserves in sows and gilts (combined with weighing and conformation assessment if required)
  • Training sessions on the use of ultrasound technology
Main services offered (cattle):
  • Test station or on-farm measurements: ultrasonic measurements of carcass traits, e.g. loin muscle area, backfat thickness, intramuscular fat percentage in the loin and fat thickness of the rump (Ultrasound Guideline Council (UGC) accredited and experienced technician)
  • Monitoring of farms enrolled in the Programme d’analyse des troupeaux de boucherie du Québec (PATBQ), supervised version. This program targets improved productivity, efficiency and profitability in Quebec's beef cattle herds and aims to provide an instrument for the selection and genetic evaluation of beef cattle in the Americas. CDPQ handles the management and operation of the PATBQ.
  • On-farm audits as part of the Verified Beef Production Plus program (VBP +).This program, managed by the Producteurs de bovins du Québec, is offered for cattle production - veal and beef sectors. It enables certified beef producers to demonstrate to consumers and retailers that their operations meet the highest standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental stewardship.
Main services offered (sheep):
  • On-farm measurement of  loin muscle surface and backfat thickness as part of the GenOvis Genetic Evaluation Program administered by the Centre d’expertise en production ovine du Québec (CEPOQ)
  • Training sessions on the use of ultrasound technology
Other species:
  • Ultrasound carcass and meat quality measurements can also be carried out on other species (e.g. red deer, wild boar, rabbits and fish).​

For more information, please contact:
Marie-Pierre FortierPh.D. student
418 650 2440, poste 4337