Evaluation of the lean meat color of commercial pigs ...

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Title Evaluation of the lean meat color of commercial pigs produced in Quebec
Author(s) K. Larry Hammell, J. P. Laforest, J. J. Dufour
Journal Canadian Journal of Animal Science
Date 1994
Volume 74
Issue 3
Start page 443
End page 449
Abstract Data from a total of approximately 2900 commercial pigs tested in 12 trials from 1987 to 1990 at the Beaumont test station in Quebec were used to determine the effect of sex, sire breed, cross type and parity number of the dam on meat colour. Pigs were housed four to a pen and fed commercial diets. Meat colour measurements were taken 24 h or 72 h after slaughter in a commercial abattoir. The sex of the pigs had no major effect on any of the meat colour measurements. Commercial pigs sired by Hampshire or Hampshire-Duroc boars had characteristics of the loin and ham associated with a paler meat (lower ultimate pH and a higher Luminosity L*) than pigs sired by Landrace, Yorkshire or Duroc boars. A Chi-square analysis of the data indicates that the meat from pigs sired by Hampshire or Hampshire-Duroc boars was more often classified within the colour standards 1 and 2, and less often classified within the colour standards 4 and 5 than the meat from pigs sired by Landrace, Yorkshire or Duroc boars. Four-way cross and especially synthetic cross pigs had a paler meat than single cross, backcross and three-way cross pigs. Overall, less than 3% and less than 1% of the pigs produced meat with a colour standard of 1 (extremely pale) or 5 (extremely dark), respectively. Parity number of the dam did not affect meat colour. A factor analysis and Pearson's coefficients of correlation between the meat colour characteristics indicate that taking the same measurements on both the loin and ham muscle add relatively little information on meat colour. It appears that measuring the pH, the luminosity L* and the chromaticity value a* on either the loin or the ham muscle could be sufficient for an acceptable estimation of meat colour of commercial pigs from the present study.
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