Beef marbling is one of the most important indices to assess beef quality. Beef marbling is graded by the measurement
of the fat distribution density in the rib-eye region. However quality grades of beef in most of the beef slaughtering
houses and businesses depend on trainees using their visual senses or comparing the beef slice to the Chinese standard
sample cards. Manual grading demands not only great labor but it also lacks objectivity and accuracy. Aiming at the
necessity of beef slaughtering houses and businesses, a beef marbling detection instrument was designed. The instrument
employs Charge-coupled Device (CCD) imaging techniques, digital image processing, Digital Signal Processor (DSP)
control and processing techniques and Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) screen display techniques. The TMS320DM642
digital signal processor of Texas Instruments (TI) is the core that combines high-speed data processing capabilities and
real-time processing features. All processes such as image acquisition, data transmission, image processing algorithms
and display were implemented on this instrument for a quick, efficient, and non-invasive detection of beef marbling.
Structure of the system, working principle, hardware and software are introduced in detail. The device is compact and
easy to transport. The instrument can determine the grade of beef marbling reliably and correctly.