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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.20.0612    [Accepted] Published online January 1, 2021.
Meat Quality Characteristics of Pork Bellies in Relation to Fat Level
Van-Ba Hoa1  , Kuk-Hwan Seol1  , Hyun-Woo Seo1  , Pil-Nam Seong1  , Sun-Moon Kang1  , Yoon-Seok Kim1  , Sung-Sil Moon2  , Jin-Hyoung Kim1  , Soo-Hyun Cho1,* 
1National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Wanju 55365, Republic of Korea
2Sunjin Meat Research Center, Ansung 17532, Korea
Correspondence:  Soo-Hyun Cho,Email: hoavanba@jbnu.ac.kr
Received: 31 August 2020   • Revised: 8 October 2020   • Accepted: 16 December 2020
Pork belly is considered as the most commercially important and preferable primal cut by consumers worldwide. Thus, this study was conducted to determine the effects of fat levels on the meat quality characteristics of pork bellies.
Seventy-eight growing-finishing pigs collected from different commercial pig farms were slaughtered and used in the present study. After slaughter 24 h, bellies were fabricated according to the Korean Pork Cutting Specification, and immediately sampled for analysis of their fat content. Based on the fat levels, the bellies were segregated into three different groups: low fat (LF, fat ≤ 20%, n=15), medium fat (MF, fat 21% to 30%, n=30) and high fat (HF, fat ≥31%, n=33). The bellies were then analyzed for meat quality traits, fatty acids, flavor compounds and eating quality properties.
The HF group had lower the moisture and cooking loss levels compared to the other groups (p<0.05). The LF group presented higher proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to the other groups (p<0.05). The LF group showed higher amounts of the Maillard reaction-derived flavor compounds (e.g., 2,5-dimethyl pyrazine, 2-ethyl-3,5-dimethyl and 4-methylthiazole) associated with meaty and roasty flavors whereas, the HF group showed higher amounts of oleic acid- derived compounds (e.g., nonanal and octanal) associated with the fatty and oily flavors. Interestingly, significantly higher scores for all the eating quality attributes (flavor, juiciness, tenderness and overall acceptance) were found in the HF group compared to those in the LF or MF group (p<0.05).
The high-fat bellies (fat ≥31%) had a better technological quality and eating quality compared to the low-fat bellies (fat ≤20%). Thus, increasing the fat content may improve the technological quality and eating quality traits of pork bellies, however, this increase may also result in more trimmed loss due to excessively deposited body fat.
Keywords: Fat Level; Pork Belly; Technological Quality; Flavor; Eating Quality

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