DETERMINING PORK QUALITY
Pork Color And Marbling Standards
Higher quality pork performs better in the kitchen. It delivers better flavor and texture for customers, and better value for the restaurant. The quality of fresh pork depends on its color, texture and marbling, and can be evaluated by visual appraisal or through scientific tests like the meat’s light refraction, ultimate pH or the Warner-Bratzler shear test of tenderness. Taste and preference studies show that fresh whole muscle pork is more tender and juicy when it falls in the Reddish-Pink, Firm and Non-exudative category, and intramuscular fat or marbling can also improve pork’s flavor and moisture. The quality levels shown below look different, taste different when cooked, and perform differently when brined, cured or smoked.
This chart may be used to help identify variations in pork quality. Color and Marbling Standards cards are also available. To request cards please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLOR – TEXTURE – EXUDATION