U.S. Pork Center of Excellence1776 NW 114th St.Clive, IA 50235. The current recommended cooking temperature for pork is 145 F, or 63 C (http://www.porkbeinspired.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2924.pdf). The user therefore, must assume full responsibility, both as to persons and as to property, for the use of these materials including any which might be covered by patent. The combination of rapidly increasing acidity (falling pH) and high muscle temperature denatures muscle proteins, reducing their ability to bind water. 1999. Pork lean quality can be improved by using available genetic screening tests to eliminate the porcine stress syndrome (PSS) gene from breeding stock populations, by careful handling of pigs from farm to packing plant, and by utilizing slaughter procedures which minimize the potential for adversely affecting lean quality. Because of this, many show pigs carry the stress gene. Clearly, the consumer has spoken by consuming less pork year after year (4% decrease in the last 10 years according to the United States Department of Agriculture), but is the industry listening? U.S. Pork Center of Excellence1776 NW 114th St.Clive, IA 50235. 1990. Pork quality. It is important that pigs exhibited in youth swine shows produce meat that has high eating quality. Soft and exudative meat is often drier and tougher when cooked, so it is less desirable to consumers; it does not work very well for processing into sausage products. These factors affect product attractiveness to potential customers, processing characteristics for value-added product manufacture and the ultimate palatability and satisfaction of pork products to consumers. PSS pigs homozygous for the stress gene exhibit extreme muscle rigidity when exposed to the anesthesia halothane (therefore also termed the halothane or hal gene). However, the halothane challenge does not detect heterozygous carriers of this gene. Sebranek, J. G. and M. D. Judge. Causes of the soft texture in PSE muscle are not well understood, but are probably linked to changes in muscle proteins and their orientation within the muscle cells. This is important because 30 to 50% of stress gene carriers can produce carcasses with inferior lean quality. The cause of the accelerated reactions in PSE muscle immediately after death can be due to the genetics of the pig, and/or improper handling of the animal (excess stress and excitement) prior to slaughter. The PSE, RSE and DFD conditions result from both heredity and animal handling practices, and can be influenced by slaughter plant procedures. The basic cause of these defects is linked to the conversion of muscle sugar (glycogen) to lactic acid soon after slaughter, and the nature of this chemical change is affected by pig genetics, animal handling practices and slaughter plant procedures. Once the North American market develops its own standards (currently being reevaluated and developed by the National Pork Board), Genesus customers will be able to collect premiums without changing their population structure or production practices. Hedrick, H. B., E. D. Aberle, J. C. Forrest, M. D. Judge, and R. A. Merkel. The information represented herein is believed to be accurate but is in no way guaranteed. Considerable variation exits in the color, texture, water-holding ability and marbling of pork lean. Most consumers prefer pork that is reddish-pink colored (R), as compared to pale (P) colored pork. Meat with adequate marbling is less likely to be tough. A period of extended stress on the pig, caused by factors such as severe weather, long transport or unfavorable holding conditions, can deplete muscle glycogen and cause the DFD condition in pork muscle. Soft and exudative means that the meat does not hold its shape and that moisture drips from the meat.