Recent increased industry interest in the genetic aspects of pigmeat quahtym the results of a trial coordinated by the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) and published m 1986 (Kempster et al, 1986; Wood et al 1986). Groups of 100 pig carcasses representing either end of the commercial range of fat thickness (8 and 16 mm P2) exhibited small but important differences in eating quality, with loin chops from the leaner group being ranked less tender and significandy less juicy by trained taste panellists and consumers. The implication was that continuing emphasis on fatness in grading schemes was having some detrimental effects on meat quality.
Since 1986, options for improving quality especially at low overall levels of carcass fatness have been sought, including genetic options. There has also been work in other countries to identify the genetic factors controlling meat quality.
It is accepted that the consumer's definition of meat quality is now very wide and includes aspects of safety, animal ethics, nutrition etc. In this presentation we are interested mainly in the visual appearance of meat (colour, drip loss) and its eating quality i.e. the intensities of tenderness, juiciness, pork flavour and abnormal flavour when the meat is cooked.
Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume 19. Selection and quantitative genetics; growth; reproduction; lactation; fish; fiber; meat., , 458–463, 1994
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