Impact of genetics on meat eating quality

In many of the established pork markets, integrated pork supply chains are emerging, where a single business may be the decision maker for the production, slaughter, processing, and sale. Traditionally, this has been done by very large corporate entities, but a similar model on a smaller scale is also occurring. Here, producers collaborate in the butchering, processing, and marketing, often under their own brand name.

For such producers, the profitability of their enterprise does not stop at the point the pig leaves the farm or is graded in the slaughter plant. Instead, it is also determined by the value at the point of sale. Traits that influence the value of the product at retail, such as tenderness, succulence, and taste, are directly related to eating quality as experienced by the consumer.

Trained taste panel

With integration of the pork production chain, genetics are increasingly considered as a possible differentiation factor for eating quality. Topigs Norsvin evaluates the eating quality with a professional and fully trained taste panel. The panel members are selected according to strict ISO standards. Training includes the ability to detect color, smell, and texture, and use of the correct vocabulary to describe eating quality.

The taste panel assesses the meat for more than ten traits, including smell, cutting characteristics, tenderness, juiciness, flavor profile, mouth feel, and cooking loss. Additionally, mechanical measures indicative of tenderness, such as shear force and bite force are evaluated.

The trained taste panel is a powerful tool that helps to build up a much larger understanding of the meat quality attributes of pork. With this knowledge Topigs Norsvin has a strong value proposition towards retail. It makes it possible to really show the added value of Topigs Norsvin genetics for eating quality.

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