Date Full Report Received


Date Abstract Report Received



Primary Investigator:

Pork value is determined by its composition and by consumer satisfaction. Several metrics of pork are considered indicators of tenderness and overall quality. We conducted a systematic review to gather information regarding 5 tenderness metrics (Warner-Bratzler Shear Force, pH, marbling, instrumental color (Hunter L* and Minolta L*), and sensory tenderness evaluation) of fresh pork between 1994 and 2014 and determine if there is evidence of change in these metrics during that period. Specifically, this projected collected data from comparative studies reporting information on pork cuts from the Longissimus muscle from gilts or barrows raised in the United States of America (USA) or Canada under conventional production systems, fed a standard diet raised and slaughtered at or above 100 kg body weight was evaluated.

The results of this study suggest that there has been no change in Warner Bratzler Shear Force, pH and instrumental color (both Minolta L* and Hunter L*) between 1994 and 2014. These results are presented in figures includes at the end of this report. We were unable to conduct similar analyses of marbling scores and sensory tenderness scores because the authors of the primary studies reported outcomes on different scales and often without measures of variation. We were also unable to make conclusions regarding slice shear force and star probe analyses because there where insufficient number of studies reporting these metrics.
With the information provided by the review, pork producers and other pork industry stake holders will be better able to address the issue of pork quality, enabling appropriate planning to towards keeping pork a competitive product for consumers’ choice.

Dr. A O’Connor
College of Veterinary Medicine
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50010