Benchmarking value in the pork supply chain: Characterization of US pork in the retail marketplace.
Additional Document Info
Retail pork from eight US cities was obtained for quality and palatability evaluations. Boneless pork loin chops were classified into one of three quality categories - "high," "average," or "low" - with higher quality chops possessing more desirable color, marbling, juiciness, and shear force characteristics than lower quality chops. Loin chops that were enhanced (injected with solution to improve juiciness and/or tenderness) had higher (P<0.05) pH, less purge and cook loss, and higher palatability ratings compared to non-enhanced chops. Hams compared by their protein fat free (PFF) classifications showed that ham and water product received the highest (P<0.05) ratings for juiciness and tenderness, and ham with natural juices received the highest (P<0.05) texture, ham flavor intensity, and smoke flavor ratings. Bacon was compared by price/brand categories; however, the highest priced, national branded bacon (US$12.03/kg) was similar (P>0.05) for most quality and all palatability traits to the lowest priced, national branded bacon (US$6.47/kg) and the store branded bacon (US$8.30/kg) even though retail prices differed widely. Overall, there were tremendous ranges in values for these products indicating that retail pork is quite variable and that efforts to improve the quality and consistency of it must continue.