Improvement of the technological quality of pig meat for the manufacture of cooked ham through an optimal genetic selection

Objective: Improve the technological quality of pork for the production of cooked ham. In particular, we want to improve the color, texture and water retention capacity of pork. In this way we want to achieve a significant reduction in the cost of production of cooked ham, and increase its selling price due to a clear and demonstrable increase in its added value.

In order to achieve this objective, the most appropriate improved pig genetic types for the production of pork for cooked ham will be identified, Using innovative technologies of genetic improvement and systems of measurement of the quality of the meat and the final elaborated product.

It is a project designed to obtain meat of great consumption and at affordable prices for the majority of the population, from white pigs, but that they add value to the companies that elaborate cooked ham and other products derived from pork , And finally that they are more attractive to the final consumer. The final objective is to achieve a quality product that, due to the high quality of the raw material, does not make it necessary to add additives for its elaboration.

Another objective of the project is the use of technology based on Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to establish equations of prediction of quality in fresh piece and in processed product. With the implementation of this technology is intended to provide an alternative to the reference methods that are applied to determine the quality of the meat, improving the control of the meat pieces that will be obtained from animals of different genetic and the quality control of the raw material at the entrance to the processing plant of cooked ham.

It is intended that this pilot project be reproducible for other companies in the Catalan pork meat sector, since most of the companies producing cooked ham and other cooked or cured pork products suffer  the same problem of high percentage of low quality raw material, probably due to the genetics of the animals from which this meat comes from, later processed. The INNOVACC Catalan pig meat cluster will help the maximum number of companies in the sector to take advantage of the results of the project and, in short, try to reduce the percentage of non-suitable raw material below 5% from 2020.

In collaboration with