Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2768

Full Length Research Paper

Technological quality attributes of pork from a small-holder abattoir as affected by breed, age and season of slaughter

C. S. Gajana1, T. T. Nkukwana1, U. Marume2 and V. Muchenje1*
1Department of Livestock and Pasture Science, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Fort Hare, Private Bag X1314, Alice, 5700, South Africa. 2Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Science and Technology. North West University, Private Bag X2046, Mmabatho. North West Province, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 July 2013
  •  Published: 25 July 2013


The objective of the current study was to determine the effect of breed, age group and season of slaughter on technological quality attributes of pork from a smallholder abattoir. Meat from the Large White pig meat had higher (P < 0.05) pHuand lower a* than values of meat from the Landrace. No breed differences were observed in lightness (L*), yellowness (b*), shear force values, thawing loss, cooking loss and evaporation loss values. Meat from pigs slaughtered in spring season had the highest (P<0.05) shear force values (27.6 ± 1.58) while the lowest shear force values (18.5 ± 1.58) were found in meat from pigs that were slaughtered in autumn season. The lowest pHu and highest a* values were found inmeat from 9 months old pigs (5.3 ± 0.07). The 6, 9 and 10 months old pigs had higher (P<0.05) b* values than 7 and 8 months old pigs. Cooking loss and evaporation loss increased with age groups. The risks of PSE occurrences were more prevalent in autumn (37%) than other seasons of slaughter. Warner Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF), cooking loss (CL) and evaporation loss (EL) values increased with age of an animal. It was concluded that pHu vary with pig breeds and considerations should also be made on different seasons of slaughter when assessing pork quality. Precautions should also be made on age categories of animal, the younger the animal. Less force is needed to shear it, low CL and EL point to good quality meat in young animals.


Key words: Ultimate pH, pork colour, tenderness, thawing loss, cooking loss, evaporation loss.