Date Full Report Received


Date Abstract Report Received



Primary Investigator:

Multiple consumer and marketing studies showed that consumers over cooked pork. With over cooking, pork is drier, tougher and not as flavorful. In the extensive consumer study conducted in 2006 to 2007, consumers evaluated pork cooked to four internal temperatures (145, 155, 165 and 175°F). In that study, consumers responded positively to pork loin chops cooked to 145°F. The National Pork Board showed that there was essentially no food safety risk in eating pork cooked to 145°F and the USDA changed the minimal cooked temperature endpoint for pork to 145°F. However, how tenderness and water holding capacity is affected in pork chops and roasts differing in thickness and color score cooked to 145°F was unknown. The objective of this study was to understand the effect of pork loin color (National Pork Board Color Quality Standards 2 and 4) on water holding capacity, chop thickness or roast size, chop and roast type, and cook method on pork cooked to 145°F. Cook time, cook yield and Warner-Bratzler shear force were evaluated. Cooking method and chop thickness dramatically affected cook yield and the time to reach 145°F internal degree of doneness. A common theme throughout for pork chops was as thickness increased, cook time increased and cook yield decreased. Baking pork chops or roasts had the longest cooking times and tended to have the lowest cook yields. Pan sautéing and pan frying had shorter cook times that resulted in higher cook yields and acceptable tenderness values. The blade and boneless chops from loin color score 4 were more tender than comparable chops from loin color score 2, but the opposite was reported for bone-in loin chops. Chop thickness had a minor effect on cook measurements, tenderness and color for blade and bone-in chops, but chop thickness for boneless chops impacted these parameters to a greater extent. Thin boneless loin chops were tougher than thicker boneless loin chops. Although pork that was baked had the longest cook time, baked bone-in and boneless chops were tender. Grilled pork chops and roasts had the lowest cook yield. Overall, this study showed that raw loin color impacted the raw color, pH and drip loss of pork. In addition, in blade, bone-in or boneless pork chops and roasts from these loins, cooking method and chop thickness impacted cook yield, cook time, cooked color, and tenderness.
Rhonda Miller, rmiller@tamu.edu, office phone 979.845.3901