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Insights into beef eating quality released

26 March 2024

The 2023 Australian Beef Eating Quality Insights (ABEQI) report has been released. The report is generated from an analysis of Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading results from 6.33 million cattle, processed and graded through 39 MSA licensed processors nationally during the 2021–22 and 2022–23 financial years.

The ABEQI aims to help beef producers optimise the eating quality of their cattle by demonstrating the impact of various production factors on the MSA Index as well as enabling the Australian beef industry to measure its improvements and identify where further gains can be made.

The 2023 report reflects the ongoing improvements MSA registered producers are making to improve the eating quality of their cattle and ultimately, meet consumer expectations.

Since the ABEQI was first published in 2010–11, the average MSA Index of the national herd has improved by approximately 1 index point. This report explains how a range of on-farm management interventions and carcase traits (including the impact of hormonal growth promotants (HGPs), marbling, ossification, hump height, sex and feeding regime) affect MSA Index and overall ranking.

The disease and defect section provides information on the relationship between diseases and the impact on MSA Index score and carcase traits. Animal disease and defect information is only available from participating processors.

State-based snapshots enable producers to match their production system and benchmark their herd’s performance against other producers in their state, in addition to identifying opportunities to improve their cattle’s eating quality.

New to this report are insights about the eating quality of four cuts from the carcase and the impact on eating quality of, for example, the use of HGPs. It highlights how brand owners use the meat eating score (MQ4) to define their brand specifications to ensure consistency in eating quality and confidence in their brands.

Read the full report, including state-based snapshots of MSA performance.