New, faster CT scanner at Invermay

A sheep is scanned in the new CT scanner at AgResearch's Invermay site. Photo from AgResearch
A sheep is scanned in the new CT scanner at AgResearch's Invermay site. Photo from AgResearch
Sheep and deer farmers in the South Island can now benefit from faster and more accurate carcass measurements, thanks to a new CT scanner in AgResearch's campus at Invermay, near Mosgiel.

The scanner, which uses X-ray technology to create cross-sectional pictures of the body, is a valuable tool for determining meat yield in livestock.

The new CT scanner is being provided by Innervision, a joint venture between Landcorp Farming Ltd and AgResearch. It replaces an older scanner that had been in operation for 18 years.

CT scanner scientist Neville Jopson said the new scanner was considerably faster than the old machine, scanning a whole carcass in about two minutes compared with as much as two hours previously.

The ''spiral scanning'' feature takes measurements over the entire carcass rather than single-slice views at set points, providing a much better understanding of composition.

''This level of detail means even greater accuracy in determining fat and lean in a carcass or meat cut,'' Dr Jopson said.

''That's massively important for people like meat processors who want to accurately calibrate their carcass-grading applications.''

The CT scanner will be mainly used to scan farmed sheep and deer.

It offers non-invasive indications of meat yield by accurately measuring muscle and fat in the hind leg, loin and shoulder regions.