Advanced meat recovery

Advanced meat recovery (AMR) is a slaughterhouse process by which the last traces of usable meat are removed from bones and other carcass materials after the primal cuts have been carved off manually.

The machinery used in this process separates meat from bone by scraping, shaving, or pressing the meat from the bone without breaking or grinding the bone. Product produced by advanced meat recovery machinery can be labeled using terms associated with hand-deboned product (e.g., "beef trimmings" and "ground beef"). AMR meat typically is used as an ingredient in products requiring further processing, such as hot dogs.

This meat is comparable in appearance, texture, and composition to meat trimmings and similar meat products derived by hand. USDA regulations for procurement of frozen fresh ground beef products, however, state that "Beef that is mechanically separated from bone with automatic deboning systems, advanced lean (meat) recovery (AMR) systems or powered knives, will not be allowed".[1]



Finely Textured Beef (FTB), Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), Premium Black Angus Finely Textured Beef (PBAFTB), Angus Finely Textured Beef (AFTB), Beef Trimmings, Finely Textured (BTFT) and Partially Defatted Chopped Beef (PDCB) are edible beef products derived from beef-fat trimmings.[2][3][4]


In the United States, USDA regulations stipulate that AMR machinery cannot grind, crush, or pulverize bones to remove edible meat tissue, and bones must emerge intact. The meat produced in this manner can contain no more than 150(±30) milligrams of calcium per 100 grams product,[5] as calcium in such high concentrations in the product would be indicative of bone being mixed with the meat. Products that exceed the calcium content limit must be labeled "mechanically separated beef or pork" in the ingredients statement.

In 1994, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a rule allowing such meat to be labeled as meat for human consumption, providing that the bones from which it was removed were still intact after processing. In 1997, following tests indicating that central nervous system (CNS) tissue was showing up in mechanically removed meat, FSIS issued a directive to its inspectors instructing them to ensure that spinal cord tissue was removed from bones before the AMR process. Following the identification of a BSE-infected U.S. dairy cow in December 2003, FSIS issued new regulations expanding the definition of prohibited CNS tissue to include additional cattle parts. Furthermore, all AMR-processed product from cattle more than 30 months old now is prohibited from being used for food, and such product from younger cattle and from other livestock species also is prohibited if it contains CNS material.[6]

See also


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