Benefits of prolonged ageing for the quality of Australian pork depends on cooking temperature and meat pH

R Vaskoska, M Ha, JD White, RD Warner

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    Context: Heating of meat leads to structural changes reflected in the juiciness and the tenderness of the cooked meat. Aims: This study aimed to characterise the effect of prolonged ageing and cooking on pork-quality traits. Methods: Longissimus lumborum samples from 12 carcasses were aged 3 days (conventional ageing) or 15 days (prolonged ageing) and pork cuboids were cooked at 50-80°C for 30 min. Cooking loss, total water content (TWC), Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and shrinkage (longitudinal, transverse and estimated volume) of the pork loin cuboids were measured. Key results: Prolonged ageing for 15 days reduced the WBSF of samples cooked at 50°C, and the cooking loss for samples cooked at 70°C and 80°C, relative to conventional ageing for 3 days. The WBSF of pork aged for 15 days was not different from that of pork aged for 3 days. Prolonged ageing reduced longitudinal shrinkage of cuboids, but TWC and transverse/volume shrinkage of cuboids were not affected by ageing. The diameter of cooked muscle fibre fragments was smaller in pork subjected to prolonged ageing. Conclusions: Prolonged ageing was favourable for minimising cooking loss at higher cooking temperatures but was only favourable for tenderness at the lowest cooking temperature. Low pH of the samples is likely to have caused the lack of tenderisation with ageing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)816-823
    Number of pages8
    JournalAnimal Production Science
    Issue number8
    Early online date02 Mar 2023
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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