Start Date: Jun 01, 2012
End Date: Sep 30, 2013
Four pork processing plants that represent both conventional and blast chilling will be sampled twice, once in summer and once in winter. Within each day of sampling, test carcasses will be taken from early, mid, and late time points within the harvest shift to represent the diversity of blast and batch chilling conditions that occur throughout the day. In total 960 carcasses will be tested (120 carcasses per day × 2 sampling days/plant × 4 plants). Hot carcass weight, fat thickness, deep loin and deep ham temperature decline, loin pH decline will be recorded for each test carcass. The ham and the loin will be obtained from the left side of each carcass. Color of the ham face will be assessed visually and instrumentally. Loins will be deboned and trimmed, vacuum-packaged and aged until 14 days postmortem. Purge loss will be measured and two loin chops will be cut and cooked for LM slice shear force measurement. Remnants of the slice will be frozen for subsequent measurement of sarcomere length and postmortem proteolysis.