A survey of pork quality of downer pigs

S. N. Carr, J. P. Gooding, P. J. Rincker, D. N. Hamilton, Michael Ellis, J. Killefer, F. K. Mckeith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Pigs from four commercial packing facilities were utilized to characterize the impact of downer pigs on meat quality and the impact of respiratory health on downer pigs. Lungs of downer pigs were evaluated for pneumonia and the pH of the longissimus was measured at approximately 45 min postmortem on 246 carcasses. At approximately 24 h postmortem, subjective color, marbling, firmness of the loin, carcass conformation, gender, objective loin color and ultimate pH of the longissimus were determined on 229 carcasses. Muscle score, 45 min pH and lung score averaged 2.14, 6.32 and 1.67, respectively. Subjective color, marbling, firmness, Minolta L-value, pH and drip loss averaged 3.75, 2.72, 3.16, 45.72, 6.00 and 1.91%, respectively. Downer pigs tended to produce pork that was dark in color with a relatively high ultimate pH and low drip loss. Virtually no relationship was observed between downer pigs and lung score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Muscle Foods
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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