Sensory quality and the incidence of PSE of pork in relation to crossbreed and RN phenotype.

Åsa Josell, G von Seth, Eva Tornberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The effects of crossbreed and of RN phenotype on pork and its eating quality were evaluated in four different pig crossbreeds [involving Swedish Landrace (L) × Yorkshire (Y) sows and Hampshire (H), Duroc (D), Yorkshire (Y) or Hampshire × Yorkshire (HY) as the terminal sire]. Pigs from the LYH crossbreed were also classified as either carriers or non-carriers of the RN− allele. In the crossbreeds investigated, M. longissimus dorsi (LD) and M. semimembranosus (SM) from LYH were found to have the lowest pH as measured 24 h post-mortem (pH24 h). The low pH in the LYH crossbreed was due to the large proportion of RN− carriers it had (approximately 70%). The non-carriers of the RN− allele in the LYH crossbreed had a pH24 h close to that of LYD, LYY and LYHY. In a selected group of pigs (N=50), the ultimate pH in the ham muscles M. biceps femoris (BF), M. quadriceps femoris (QF), M. gluteus medius (GM) and M. semitendinosus (ST) was also found to be lower in RN− carriers of LYH than in the other crossbreeds. As determined visually, LYD had the highest frequency (2%) of pale, soft and exudative meat (PSE), in LD. Ham from RN− carriers of LYH had the highest frequency (23%) of PSE meat around the femur, indicating that when the pH is low, the deep musculature, in which the chilling rate can be slow, is particularly sensitive to the development of PSE. According to assessments by members of a trained sensory panel, tenderness was significantly greater in LD from carriers of the RN− allele in LYH than in LD from LYD, LYHY and non-carriers of LYH. The tenderness of LD from LYY was rated as intermediate. The intramuscular fat content was found to be highest in LD from LYD, no relationship between intramuscular fat content and tenderness being found. The RN− carriers of LYH received the highest ratings in terms of juiciness. In conclusion, the sensory ratings demonstrated the great eating quality of LD from carriers of the RN− allele, indicating that abandoning the Hampshire crossbreed or eliminating the RN− allele from it, would result in the meat being less tender.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)651-660
    JournalMeat Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Subject classification (UKÄ)

    • Food Engineering

    Free keywords

    • RN gene
    • Pork
    • Crossbreed
    • Tenderness
    • PSE meat


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