Pork 301 Tasting With All Five Senses

Larry K. McMullen, Swine Field Specialist, Southeast Area


Since June 2002 the Iowa Pork Industry Center (IPIC) has supplied pork quality workshops for participants attending the State 4-H Conference on the Iowa State University campus.  The purpose of these workshops is to educate 4-H members on pork selection, highlight potential enrollment in agriculture/food science at Iowa State University and provide career information in Ag science.   The beginning workshop was Pork 101 Pork Quality and has been presented each year since.  In 2004 a second workshop Pork 201 Processed Pork Products was added.  In 2005, a third workshop Pork 301 Tasting With All Five Senses was added to put a greater emphasis on the food science opportunities.  The intent of the IPIC is to give a variety of experiences to the 4-H conference participant through workshops that will enhance their interest in agriculture / food science opportunities and careers involving the pork industry.

The Pork 301 Tasting With All Five Senses was conceived by Swine Field Specialists Larry McMullen, Jerry Weiss, Terry Steinhart and Dave Stender after participating in a presentation made by Dr. Ken Prusa, Professor, ISU Food Science and Nutrition. With the assistance of Sherry Hoyer, IPIC Communication Specialist, Pork 301 was organized and planned for a new offering at the June 2005 Iowa 4-H Conference.  The workshop consisted of lecture/discussion and demonstrations of how the senses (auditory/hearing, olfactory/smell, vision/sight, tactile/touch, gustatory/taste) affect our selection and satisfaction of food products. This was achieved by a power point presentation developed by Larry McMullen and food product sensory demonstrations lead by Jerry Weiss.  Low and high pH pork loins were also prepared and served to demonstrate how our senses react to different quality of pork.  The workshop also featured Dr. Ken Prusa discussing how a food product is developed for the commercial market as well as a tour through the ISU Food Sensory Lab Facilities.  The workshop was presented by Larry McMullen, Jerry Weiss, and Sherry Hoyer on June 28, 2005.

The Pork 301 workshop was attended by 21 4-H conference participants, the maximum allowed per workshop session.  An evaluation was completed by all participants in the Pork 301 workshop.  The evaluation used rating scores of 1 to 5 (1 = poor, 2 = fair, 3 = average, 4 = good, 5 = excellent) to measure the following areas:  Fun, Informative, Interest, and Interactive.  The average participant scores were: Fun - 4.19, Informative 4.52, Interest 4.33, and Interactive 4.76.  Combing all of the evaluated areas together, the average overall score for the Pork 301 workshop was 4.45.  Hopefully the workshop created within the participants an interest to attend Iowa State University to pursue a career in food science as well as demonstrating how our senses are used to evaluate the quality and satisfaction of food products.

September 29, 2005
108 -- Iowa Pork Industry Center

Page last updated: July 9, 2006
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