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Meat Sci. 2003 Oct;65(2):927-33. doi: 10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00310-8.

Pork loin color relative to sensory and instrumental tenderness and consumer acceptance.

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Department of Food Science, University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211-5160, USA.


Pork loin color categories were established with the intent of demonstrating differences in eating quality between them. Center-cut boneless pork loins (n=64) were divided into three color classifications. Category A included National Pork Producers Council color standards 1 and 2; category B, 3 and 4; and category C, 5 and 6. L* means for categories A, B, and C were 57.00, 50.24, and 45.54, respectively. Warner-Bratzler shear force values were not affected by category (P>0.05), but were negatively correlated with a* and b* values (P<0.05). The "in-home" portion of this study consisted of 47 households that prepared and evaluated chops randomly distributed by category. Consumers reported differences in liking of juiciness and liking of tenderness (P<0.05) due to color category. Eighty-nine percent of the households participated in a simulated retail display where, 20.8% chose chops from category A, 26.4% from category B, and 52.8% from category C. A trained panel evaluated the cooked chops and perceived category C to be more tender, more juicy, and less dry than both A and B (P<0.05). Consumers responded similarly to the trained panel in their perceptions of tenderness and juiciness.

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