Comparison of Pork Quality and Sensory Characteristics for Antibiotic Free Yorkshire Crossbreds Raised in Hoop Houses

  • Whitley, N. (Department of Animal Sciences, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University) ;
  • Hanson, D. (Department of Food Science, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Morrow, W. (Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University) ;
  • See, M.T. (Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Oh, S.H. (Department of Animal Sciences, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University)
  • Received : 2012.05.30
  • Accepted : 2012.08.11
  • Published : 2012.11.01


The objective of this study was to compare pork characteristics and to determine consumer acceptability of pork chops from antibiotic free Yorkshire crossbreds sired by Berkshire (BY), Large Black (LBY), Tamworth (TY) or Yorkshire (YY) boars and reared in hoop houses. The experiments were conducted at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&TSU) Farm in Greensboro, NC and the Cherry Research Station Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Alternative Swine Unit in Goldsboro, NC (source of antibiotic free Yorkshire sows used at both places). Twenty-four sows were artificially inseminated at each location in each of three trials. Litters were weaned at 4 wks old, and reared within deep-bedded outdoor hoop houses. To compare pork characteristics, 104 randomly selected animals were harvested at a USDA-inspected abattoir at approximately 200 d of age. Variables measured included pH, color score, $L^*$, $a^*$, $b^*$, marbling score, drip loss, hot carcass weight, backfat thickness (BF), loin muscle area (LMA), and slice shear force. Sensory panel tests were also conducted at two time periods. The data was analyzed with GLM in SAS 9.01 including location, trial, and sire breed as fixed effects. Backfat thickness, LMA, color score and $a^*$ were different among breeding groups (p<0.05). The LBY pigs had thicker backfat and smaller LMA than the other breed types. The TY and YY had less backfat than all other breed groups. Color score was lower for YY than BY and LBY but intermediate for TY. The $a^*$ was lower for TY than other breeds except LBY which was intermediate. For one sensory panel test, YY pork was more preferred overall as well as for juiciness and texture compared to BY and LBY (p<0.05), but no impact of breed type was noted for the other test, with values similar for BY, LBY, TY and YY pork. This information may help small farmers make decisions about breed types to use for outdoor production.




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