Rapid communication: Effect of machine, anatomical location, and replication on instrumental color of boneless pork loins

Kayla E. Barkley, Brandon Fields, Anna C. Dilger, Dustin D. Boler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective was to determine the effect of machine, anatomical location, and replication (multiple readings) on instrumental color and to characterize the amount of variation each factor contributed to overall color. Instrumental color was measured three times on the anterior and three times on the posterior end of 250 pork loins with two different Minolta CR-400 Chroma meter devices. Each Minolta was programed to use a D65 illuminant, 2° observer with an 8 mm aperture, and calibrated with white tiles specific to each machine. Therefore, a total of 12 instrumental color measurements were collected on each loin. The VARCOMP procedure in SAS was used to estimate the proportion of variation contributed by each factor to CIE L*, a*, b*, chroma, and hue. Based on previous research, the average untrained consumer is able to distinguish between 3-L* units, 0.4-a* units, and 0.9-hue angle units. Loins evaluated with machine 1 were 0.71 L* units darker (P < 0.01), 1.09 b* units more yellow (P < 0.01), 0.47 chroma units more saturated (P < 0.01), and had a hue angle 5.12 units greater (P < 0.01) than when evaluated with machine 2 but did not differ (P = 0.24) in redness. The anterior portion of the loin was lighter, less red, more yellow, more saturated and had a greater hue angle than the posterior end (P < 0.01). All color trait values decreased (P < 0.01) as replication number increased. Inherent color differences among loins contributed the greatest proportion of variability for lightness (58%), redness (57%), yellowness (70%), saturation (70%), and hue angle (49%). Machine contributed 1% variability to lightness 3% to saturation, 23% to yellowness, and 31% to hue angle (31%) but did not contribute to variability for redness. Anatomical location contributed 41% to lightness, 43% to redness, 7% to yellowness, 27% to saturation, and 31% to hue angle. Replication did not contribute to total variation for any color traits, even though it did differ among measurements. Overall, there were differences in instrumental color values between the two machines tested, but those differences were likely less than the threshold for detection by a consumer. Even so, inherent color differences between loins were a greater contributor to total variability than the differences between the two machines. Therefore, it is more important to define the location of measurements than replication or machine when using a Minolta CR-400 when performing color evaluations, assuming the settings are the same.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2747-2752
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Color
  • Instrumental color
  • Minolta
  • Pork
  • Variability
  • Variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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