Consistency vital for pork

Everybody loves a succulent, tender piece of pork, but the industry must make sure the experience is that good every time or consumers will defect to other meats, pig bosses have warned.

Everybody loves a succulent, tender piece of pork, but the industry must make sure the experience is that good every time or consumers will defect to other meats.

The British Pig Executive (BPEX) has just produced two new publications, both of which focus on eating quality, though from different angles.

The first is a major update of the MLC Blueprint, first produced 16 years ago, while the other is about monitoring meat quality through pH value.

They are aimed at anybody working to improve pig meat eating quality - whether 1,000 pigs a week, or just a couple for a farm shop.

BPEX meat scientist Kim Matthews said: "The updated Blueprint summarises opportunities for improving the quality of pork.

Based on the original MLC Blueprint, it draws on technical developments to present an up-to-date summary of the key factors determining pork eating quality.

"It is no longer appropriate to recommend a specific breed to enhance eating quality, because many genotypes are available, each suited to particular market requirements.

"Other recommendations include not using fishmeal in finishing rations, minimising age at slaughter and using hip suspension, even where electrical stimulation is applied.

"The other publication looks at pH measurement. It describes the use of pH meters in abattoirs and details the simple inexpensive equipment that is available.

"Measuring pH provides important information to manage meat quality. Action to control pH can reduce drip loss and improve processing quality and therefore add real value through consistency."

The importance of this is underlined by BPEX offering training sessions in pH measurement to anyone involved in further processing. Contact Kim Matthews for more information.

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