Date of this Version
Automated mechanical systems are being utilized by the pork industry to efficiently and economically recover meat remaining on bones after fabrication. The recovered meat, referred to as pork trim-finely textured (PTFT), has unique properties which must be understood to best use this lean meat source. This research characterized the chemical and physical properties of PTFT, determined incorporation levels in ground pork and studied the storage and shelf-life-stability of products containing PTFT. Chemical and physical properties of PTFT were compared to knife trimmed meat (KT) and 80 percent lean ground pork (GP). PTFT had higher iron, calcium, total pigment and cholesterol than GP or KT. Moisture and fat content of PTFT did not differ from GP. When PTFT (0, 5, 10 and 15 percent) was incorporated into ground pork patties (10 percent and 20 percent fat), redness and sensory juiciness increased and hardness and cohesiveness decreased at all levels of incorporation. Storage stability of patties containing up to 15 percent PTFT displayed for four days under retail conditions were not affected by PTFT as measured by lipid oxidation, microbial counts and pH. PTFT obtained by mechanical recovery appears to be an exceptional substitute for pork trim in ground pork formulations. PTFT does not negatively influence, and may enhance, the attributes of ground pork when added below 15 percent. Utilization of PTFT contributes to the profitability of the pork industry which is already recognizing the benefits of mechanical recovery due to a reduction in repetitive motion syndrome, which is typically associated with knife trimming.