Approval success for MIJ-30 digital camera

AUS-MEAT objective grading of high Marble Score 0-9+

The Australian Wagyu Association is pleased to announce that in working with Meat Image Japan (MIJ), they have achieved conditional approval for the MIJ-30 digital carcase camera through AUS-MEAT for objective grading of high Marble Score 0-9+. The MIJ-30 digital carcase camera is the first and only approved technology for High AUS-MEAT grading across the full 0-9+ marbling range.  The approval is conditional on maintaining the standards required in the AUS-MEAT regulations such as documentation of in-plant QA systems and ongoing validation testing.

For those in the global Beef industries, Meat Image Japan (MIJ) is recognised as the founder of objective carcase quality grading for high-value beef applications.  Japan is the home of Wagyu and MIJ’s Professor Keigo Kuchida has worked on image capture and analysis for the measurement of yield, quality, colour, and fatness for more than 30 years with the Japanese Meat Grading Association systems. MIJ has its technologies across the major premium global beef markets including Japan, the USA, Europe and Australia.

For high-quality Wagyu beef, MIJ has partnered with the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) to accelerate the development of its newest digital technology within the Australian premium-quality beef sector. More than 30,000 carcases across multiple Australian supply chains have been analysed to build the reference set for the new MIJ cloud-based carcase grading system. AWA identified that MIJ is recognised as the gold standard for marbling and carcase quality grading technologies, their platforms having been developed by Professor Keigo Kuchida of Obihiro University.  The MIJ-30 is an evolution of the Meat Image Japan technology platform, based on three decades of scientific development and evaluation.

MIJ Managing Director Mr Atsushi Kano said that the R&D development team behind the MIJ 30 – lead by Professor Keigo Kuchida, have worked extensively in the development and testing of the camera with its industry partner – the Australian Wagyu Association. As a robust commercial grading tool, the MIJ-30 is ideal for routine industrial use in supply chains across the full range of Marble Score variation. The AWA CEO Dr Matt McDonagh said that the AWA has used the camera extensively across many processor sites over the last 3 years to develop the Australian reference data for the MIJ analysis and AUS-MEAT accreditation.  Professor Kuchida described that a unique attribute of the MIJ-30 is its measurement of Marbling Fineness, which is a key attribute important to Wagyu quality.  The proprietary methods for measuring marbling fineness with the MIJ-30 were established on Wagyu in Japan and these are the foundation of quality assessment for Wagyu in Japan.

“MIJ are globally recognised and trusted as scientific leaders in the objective measurement of beef, including Wagyu.  In Wagyu, marbling is king.  Through collaborating with MIJ, we are able to apply the best knowledge and technology for measuring marbling from Japan into the Australian industry” said AWA, chief executive, Dr Matt McDonagh.

Mr Atushi Kano said “MIJ were aware that several technologies had been seeking to undertake accreditation in Australia, but the MIJ-30 was the only technology to come forward for High AUS-MEAT grading approval for the 0-9+ marble score range. “

He said that MIJ was grateful to be able to work with the AWA to achieve a successful outcome after significant delays in undertaking the accreditation process during 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.  MIJ and AWA had planned to undertake AUS-MEAT accreditation much earlier, but restrictions made it difficult to access facilities and personnel to complete the required trials for AUS-MEAT.

Dr McDonagh commented that “MIJ has been developing the MIJ-30 technology for 6 years, and it had undergone extensive research, development and testing around the world, including within many commercial Australian meat processors.  Their work is published in the leading journals in the field and they are the recognised experts.  It is satisfying to see MIJ’s success through conditional approval for high Marble Score grading 0-9+ within the AUS-MEAT system.”

Important Notice and Disclaimer

It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.