Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Animal Science


In the mid to late 1950's meat scientists and processors became increasingly aware of and interested in ante mortem and post-mortem stress and how it related to meat quality. This interest was generated largely from two problem conditions confronting the meat industry: pale, soft, exudative pork and dark cutting beef. Briskey et al. were the first to study the condition in pork. Further explorations were reported by Briskey, Hedrick et al., Lewis and Sayre et al. Research has characterized physical and chemical conditions associated with pale, soft and watery pork since it was first reported. This research was probably stimulated by either one or both of the following: wide publication of the condition coupled with its psychological effect on the consumer's acceptability of the product and/or problems the meat packer encountered when processing low quality pork. Several workers studied pale, soft, watery pork and its relationship to meat palatability and eating qualities. The commercial meat packer at the same time, was interested in the economic aspect of the problem. He experienced the weepage or moisture loss and the resulting lower quality and yield of the meat. Pale, soft, watery hams for example, absorbed greater quantities of curing pickle than did normal hams. Upon smoking however, those hams lost a larger percentage of weight than normal hams processed in the same manner. Additional drip loss or extra shrink experienced by the· packer constituted a definite economic loss. Judge et al. and Sayre et al. reported finding a genetic variation among breeds of h6gs which caused some breeds to be more susceptible to ante mortem stress than others. It was reported that genetic susceptibility to ante mortem stress caused lower quality, pale, soft, watery pork. However, since the packer has no direct control over the animals' house, he must concern himself with maximizing yields of product that he processes. This study was designed to compare the differences between normal and pale, soft, watery pork. Specific objectives were as follows: 1. To characterize chemically and physically fresh, pale, soft, watery pork, normal pork and intermediately colored pork. 2. To compare the yield differences and the actual amount of shrinkage of cured-smoked product produced from normal and pale, soft pork.

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South Dakota State University