Technological, nutritional, and sensory meat quality may be influenced by multiple interacting factors before and after slaughter. Reviewing the literature, it can be seen that alterations aimed at creating more sustainable production systems for pig meat generally have either no effect or a lowering effect on the ultimate pH value of the meat. Some studies indicate reduced water-holding capacity in sustainably produced pork. Outdoor production may be expected to increase further the shear force of the meat compared to conventional systems. The color may be affected in different ways, leading to either darker, more pigmented meat or paler, structurally effected meat. The more unsaturated profile of the lipids in meat produced in a system that includes feeds containing polyunsaturated fatty acids is favorable with respect to the nutritional quality of the meat. To conclude, the combinatory effects of, for example, feeding, production systems, genotype, sex, and preslaughter treatments, have to be addressed.
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Vol. 34 • No. 4