Effects of preslaughter rest (0, 1, 2 or 3 h) and hot-fat trimming (HFT, one side) on muscle quality characteristics of hams and loins were tested with 120 pigs. Center-cut loins from each carcass side were vacuum packaged and stored for 7 or 14 days at 2°C. Pigs not rested before slaughter had a skin temperature 3°C higher and ham muscle temperatures 1°C higher than pigs rested 1-3 h (P<0.05). Three hour muscle pH was highest if pigs were rested for 1 h. HFT significantly accelerated carcass chilling rate, but did not affect rate of muscle pH decline. After 14 days of aging, pigs not rested had lower sensory panel ratings for juiciness, tenderness, flavor and overall mouthfeel of loin chops than pigs rested 1 or 2 h. Percentage bound water of hams was highest (P<0.05) if pigs rested 1 or 2 h rather than a shorter or longer times. Pigs should be rested 1 h before slaughter and HFT carried out to allow more rapid carcass chilling and improve muscle quality.
- Hot-fat trimming
- PSE pork