Animal Science Department



Kent M. Eskridge

Date of this Version



Published in 2003 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Duane Reese, Extension Swine Specialist, Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Published by Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Sensory evaluation of food products is a valuable means of learning about their characteristics. Consumer taste panels are regularly used to evaluate properties of meat products such as pork loins. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of post-cooking holding time on the taste panel ratings of enhanced pork. The loins used in this project were enhanced with varying percentages (close to 10%) of solutions containing water, salt, phosphates and natural juices or flavors. The loins came from 10 different suppliers and were served in randomly allotted groups of seven, throughout twenty, one-hour taste panel sessions. The meat was cooked, diced and kept in double boilers in order to maintain a steady temperature of approximately 122° F throughout the duration of the one-hour taste panel. Eight-point hedonic scales were used for juiciness, tenderness, flavor and overall acceptability. The order in which the panelists attended the taste panel throughout the hour was recorded. Significant first-degree interactions between time and tenderness, juiciness, flavor and overall acceptability were found. As expected, the ratings given by the panelists to the meat decreased as post-cooking holding time in the double boilers increased. Empirically, holding time should be minimized and samples should be replaced after no more than 30 minutes. Results showed that current American Meat Science Association (AMSA) guidelines for meat evaluation should be revised whereby samples are cooked while the taste panel is conducted. As such, it is important that proper facilities be used and positive air flow in the panel booths be maintained to minimize any carry-over effects from the aroma of cooking meat.