4-H Conference Pork Quality Workshops

January - March 2003

Larry K. McMullen , swine field specialist

When the state 4-H office made a request for workshop proposals for their 2002 State 4-H Conference, the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) responded with a proposed workshop to educate 4-H members and leaders on pork quality. The IPIC proposal was accepted, and the planning of two pork quality workshops began. Planning committee members included Sherry Hoyer, IPIC Media Specialist, Larry McMullen, Jerry Weiss, Terry Steinhart, and Dave Stender, Swine Field Specialists.

The planning committee composed two workshops, each approximately 90 minutes in length, that were held on June 25th and 26th. The workshops began with a 20-minute power point session by Larry McMullen explaining the meaning of pork quality and the issues associated with establishing excellent pork quality. Jerry Weiss then gave an explanation of the impacts of color and pH on pork quality, followed by a lesson on identifying pork cuts, pork quality workmanship and fabrication methods of pork cuts by Terry Steinhart and Dave Stender. The workshops concluded with a taste testing session comparing samples of a low pH and light color pork loin and a high pH, dark color loin cooked by Sherry Hoyer and Larry McMullen. Attendees were given samples of the cooked products and made evaluations for cooking loss, taste, tenderness, juiciness, etc.

Approximately 25 4-H members and adult leaders attended the two workshops and they highly received information on pork quality and asked numerous questions. Following the cooking and tasting demonstrations, all of the participants were able to assess that pork loins that are high in pH and dark color will have less cooking loss, better taste, and will be more tender and juicy. Workshop emphasis was placed on how to select high quality pork products. In recognition, this workshop was one of the highest evaluated workshop sessions for the 4-H Conference and as a result it will again be offered at the 2003 State 4-H Conference. In addition, an advanced workshop on sausage manufacturing, meat curing and processing will be added to the conference workshop curriculum.

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu