The influence of various factors on the occurrence of high ultimate pH values as an indication of dark, firm and dry (DFD) pork at a South African bacon factory.
This survey was conducted to determine the occurrence of DFD meat in pork carcasses at a South African bacon factory and to identify the influence of certain factors on the incidence of DFD pork. The ultimate pH values (pHf)in the muscles of 3 477 pigs were determined in the M. longissimus lumborum (LL) and the M. semimembranosus. The incidence of DFD meat was found to be 30,20% (pHf ≥ 6,00) with a mean pH, value of 5,87 in the LL. Sex had a highly significant influence (P ≤0,01)on the incidence of DFD meat. A higher mean pH, value (5,97)and a higher percentage DFD were found in boar (43,11%), than in sow and castrate carcasses grouped (5,81; 23,03%), as determined in the LL. Factors like method of transport, day of slaughter, lairage time and backfat thickness also had an important influence on the incidence of DFD meat.