The primary objective of this project was to benchmark fresh pork quality at the retail store level. A great deal of variation in pork quality exists in the retail marketplace, leaving consumers with a broad variety of pork quality characteristics, packaging types, and price levels. Specifically this project gathered pork quality baseline values in the fresh pork retail case.
Nationally, 117 retailers in 67 cities were selected for sampling using a novel selection model. Center-cut loin chops were observed in-store, in package, to obtain subjective color (n=2795), and marbling (n=2767) scores. Enhanced and non-enhanced center-cut loin chops, sirloin chops, and blade steaks of each brand were purchased for measurements of pH, Minolta color (L*, a*, and b*), and tenderness (WBSF).
Key points/excerpts are as follows.
• Center-cut loin chop packages were selected to account for each representative brand and enhancement type available to consumers nationwide
• Center-cut loin chop packages were selected from the self-serve case to represent different loins and evaluated for subjective measurements of color (NPB 1-6, 2011; n=2795)) and marbling (NPB 1-6, 2011; n=2767)).
• A subset of loins was then sent to Texas A&M for objective quality measures of pH, Minolta color (L*, a*, b*), and Warner Bratzler shear force (WBSF; n=1910).