By Chloe Mitchell, ASAS/ASAP communications intern
A paper recently published in Meat Science has outlined a method of estimating the impact of various animal and carcass treatments on pork eating quality, using analyses known as Monte Carlo simulations.
The aim of the study was to create a quantifiable indicator of pork quality that could be applied in industry to determine the effect of treatments such as feed restriction, mixed housing, hanging method and moisture infusion on pork quality and to assist in risk management. The authors hypothesised that correction factors for a predictive equation for pork quality would be a valuable quality indicator. The correction factors were determined by analysis of changes in pork eating quality in response to “pathway parameters”, such as the treatments described earlier, being applied to pigs and carcasses. The indicators of pork eating quality examined were tenderness, flavour, and juiciness.
The outcomes of the study showed the complexity of trying to quantify the impact of these different treatments or pathway parameters applied to pigs on the eating quality of the final product. The authors concluded that the Monte Carlo simulation methodology could be useful in estimating these effects by examining the probability distribution outputs from imposing different treatments.