Fat, bone, and muscle possess different densities and this procedure is used for estimating carcass composition. Such differences are discernable when carcasses are weighed in water and then in air to indirectly measure water displacement. Based on the arbitrary value of 1.0 as the density of water, fat (0.9) is less dense than the fat-free carcass, and bone (1.8) has greater density than either fat or muscle (1.1). In addition to the method being slow, it assumes that the carcass muscle/bone ratio is constant.

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