Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 2003


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.


Commercial bacon processors often raise concerns regarding the management practice of frozen storage of the bellies prior to curing and processing for sliced bacon. Deterioration of quality measures is a concern and is usually attributed to freezer storage. A secondary issue, in the production of bacon including those processed from frozen bellies, is the effect of breed and sex of pigs. Therefore, an experiment was conducted to determine the effect of a 15-day frozen storage time, the genetics, and sex of the pig on the quality and fatty acid profile of pork bellies. Frozen storage of fresh pork bellies did not pose any significant quality problems. However, significant differences in the fatty acid profile of fat from the bellies were observed between breeds of pigs. Fat accounts for about 60% of the composition of a slice of bacon. Thus, fatty acid differences of fresh bellies due to breed effects may have a significant impact on bacon fatty acid composition.