A sensory evaluation of pork quality from hogs finished on an organic apple diet
LE3 .A278 2009
Bachelor of Science
Nutrition & Dietetics
Grazing hogs in organic apple orchards has been shown to help control grass density and weed problems, and they will also consume the wind-fall apples in the orchard. Although anecdotal testimony has claimed there to be an improvement in the quality of pork from pigs that have been fed apples, no feeding trials have been performed to investigate this claim. This research was carried out to determine the effect of an organic apple diet on the sensory properties of pork (as determined by a trained panel) as well as the liking of the meat by pork consumers. Eleven individuals participated on the trained panel, and they were taught to evaluate pork samples based on pork odour, pork flavour, sweet taste, salty taste, juiciness, tenderness, fibrousness, and aftertaste. The statistical analysis took into account the diet and the location where the pigs were raised (the pigs were raised in two different locations). Pigs raised in Scotsburn were found to have a greater pork odour, and pigs fed apples were found to be more fibrous than those fed solely conventional feed, particularly the pigs that were fed apples and that were also raised in Nappan. However, although statistically significant, the differences in sensory quality between pigs fed the two diets and raised in the two locations was not great. The consumer test that was carried out (n = 60) also found that there was no significant differences between pigs fed apples and those fed regular feed in regards to liking of flavour, tenderness, juiciness, or overall flavour. Correlations were performed between the attributes assessed by the trained panel and the consumer scores for liking, and there were no significant relationships found between any of the characteristics. Instrumental measurements were taken on pork samples from both diet groups from both locations, and the only significant difference was found to exist between pigs raised in the two xii locations, with pork from Scotsburn being more cohesive than that from Nappan. In general, the sensory properties of pigs raised on a diet of organic apples are comparable to those of pigs fed conventional feed.
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