Utilizing alternative indices to compare the conformance of market hogs across three packers

John D. Roberts, John Deen, Thomas Johnson, Jay F. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Generalized Taguchi indices were applied to compare the carcass quality performance of a group of marketed pigs against the quality requirements of three packing companies. Materials and methods: One hundred eighty pigs from a feeding facility were slaughtered at a packing plant. Carcass quality data was collected from the individual carcasses. Most packers determine individual carcass prices from a matrix that references carcass weight and the percent of lean meat in the carcass. Individual packers determine price using different algorithms applied to the matrices. Group carcass measurements were evaluated using three different packer matrices. The ability of the carcass group to perform for the three packers (A, B, and C) was evaluated using measures of quality performance known as sort loss, average lean premium, expected relative loss (Le), and generalized Taguchi performance (C'pm). Revenue was measured as total revenue and average carcass value. Results: The matrix of Packer B developed the smallest Le value (0.125) and the largest C'pm index (0.947), indicating that the carcass requirements of Packer B were best satisfied. Sort loss and average lean premium could not be compared among packers. The values of revenue were comparable and Packer C attained the largest. Discussion: Sort loss and average lean premium implied financial information concerning group conformance that was not comparable among packers. The Le provided a comparable descriptive that was easier to interpret than the C'pm. Implications: Le and C'pm indices may provide a comparison of group carcass quality performance across different packers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Swine Health and Production
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003


  • Process capability
  • Process performance
  • Swine
  • Swine marketing
  • Taguchi indices


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