14 January 2000

Trials aiming to find tender pigs

ON-GOING MLC-funded work is seeking to find out whether older pigs are less tender than those slaughtered at a younger age.

Taste panels for the trial are underway, with results expected in May, says MLC meat scientist Kim Matthews.

"Everyone thinks that older animals slaughtered at higher weights will be tougher, but this hasnt been demonstrated. We did find, in phase feeding trials, that this was the case, but we are now assessing whether this applies to commercial pigs."

Work, which also involves Cambac, has centred on five farms using a range of finishing systems. Pigs were followed from weaning to slaughter, and were sent to the abattoir over eight weeks. &#42