This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Influence of Packaging Methodology on the Quality Characteristics of Fresh Pork Chops




Nichols, Brooks

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Animal Sciences


Global consumption of pork is increasing and is projected to increase through 2030. To meet the increasing demand for pork products, it is imperative that the meat industry is able to extend the shelf life of pork products while maintaining the quality attributes over a longer period. Applying different packaging methodologies is one method that is used to extend the shelf life of meat products in the meat industry. Packaging methodologies can vary between traditional oxygen permeable to anaerobic methods when storing products under vacuum. To understand the impact that packaging methodology can have on the quality of pork products, two studies were designed and conducted using pork loin chops and stored under retail settings. Study one utilized pork loin chops (n = 300) packaged in either vacuum packaging and polyvinyl chloride overwrap (PVC) in a six-day retail display period to investigate the impact of packaging on surface color, warner-bratzler shear force, lipid oxidation, cooked color, and the objective flavor and aroma profiles which were evaluated using the electronic tongue and electronic nose. In study one, over a 6-day retail display period, pork chops packaged in PVC were redder (p < 0.0001) and more yellow (p < 0.0033) than vacuum packaged chops. Furthermore, PVC packaged chops had a more vivid surface color (p = 0.0001) compared to vacuum. Vacuum packaging of chops led to a more stable overall surface color throughout the display period. Within the 6-day storage period, assessment by electronic tongue and electronic nose show that both packaging method and time in storage affect the objective flavor and aroma profiles of pork chops. Pork chops packaged in vacuum had greater (p ≤ 0.0001) sourness values than PVC chops, while PVC chops had greater relative values for 1-propanal (p < 0.0252) and Butane-2-3- Dione (p < 0.0017).The second study utilized pork loin chops (n = 1008) packaged in one of three different vacuum packaging films, or PVC to investigate the impact whether vacuum iii packaging impacted the quality of pork loin chops. The three different vacuum packaging films used had varying composition, oxygen transmission, and vapor transmission rates. During study two over a 15-day storage period, PVC packaged chops had a redder (p < 0.0001) and more vivid (p < 0.0001) surface color compared to vacuum packaged chops. Not surprising, the aerobic nature of PVC packaging pork chops led to greater lipid oxidation in both a 6-day (p = 0.0027) and 15-day (p < 0.0001) storage period across both studies. Packaging method nor storage day impacted objective tenderness within a 6-day period (p = 0.1275), however, PVC packaged chops became more tender (p < 0.0040) compared to vacuum on day 10 of storage. Results of the current studies suggest that packaging can impact the surface color of pork chops namely redness, and more importantly can alter lipid oxidation, and the electronic assessment for flavor and aromatic profiles of pork chops. As electronic sensor technology continues to improve, the application to shelf-life research of meat products will be beneficial in defining the impact of packaging on the changes in flavor and aroma during prolonged storage.