Evaluation of the correlation between the muscle fat ratio of pork belly and pork shoulder butt using computed tomography scan

Sheena Kim1,†, Jeongin Choi2,†, Eun Sol Kim1, Gi Beom Keum1, Hyunok Doo1, Jinok Kwak1, Sumin Ryu1, Yejin Choi1, Sriniwas Pandey1, Na Rae Lee1, Juyoun Kang1, Yujung Lee2, Dongjun Kim2, KukHwan Seol3, Sun Moon Kang3, In-Seon Bae4, Soo-Hyun Cho4, Hyo Jung Kwon2, Samooel Jung5, Youngwon Lee2,*, Hyeun Bum Kim1,*

1Department of Animal Biotechnology, Dankook University, Cheonan 31116, Korea
2College of Veterinary Medicine and Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea
3Planning & Coordination Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Wanju 55365, Korea
4Animal Products and Utilization division, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Wanju 55365, Korea
5Division of Animal and Dairy Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea

†These authors equally contributed to this study as first author.

*Corresponding authors:,


This study was conducted to find out the correlation between meat quality and muscle fat ratio in pork part meat (pork belly and shoulder butt) using CT (computed tomography) imaging technique. After 24 hours from slaughter, pork loin and belly were individually prepared from the left semiconductors of 26 pigs for CT measurement. The image obtained from CT scans was checked through the picture archiving and communications system (PACS). The volume of muscle and fat in the pork belly and shoulder butt of cross-sectional images taken by CT was estimated using Vitrea workstation version 7. This assemblage was further processed through Vitrea post-processing software to automatically calculate the volumes (Fig. 1). The volumes were measured in milliliters (mL). In addition to volume calculation, a three-dimensional reconstruction of the organ under consideration was generated. Pearson’s correlation coefficient was analyzed to evaluate the relationship by region (pork belly, pork shoulder butt), and statistical processing was performed using GraphPad Prism 8. The musclefat ratios of pork belly taken by CT was 1 : 0.86, while that of pork shoulder butt was 1 : 0.37. As a result of CT analysis of the correlation coefficient between pork belly and shoulder butt compared to the muscle-fat ratio, the correlation coefficient was 0.5679 (R2 = 0.3295, p < 0.01). CT imaging provided very good estimates of muscle contents in cuts and in the whole carcass.


computed tomography, muscle and fat ratio, pork belly, pork shoulder butt

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