News 1381 views last update:Feb 25, 2016

Canadian pork quality standards released

The official Canadian Pork Quality Standards (CPQS) for meat colour, fat colour and marbling (intramuscular fat) have now been released, announced by Canada Pork International (CPI).

The CPQS project began in 2009 in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the Canadian Centre for Swine Improvement (CCSI) and included a number of meat scientists and industry experts across Canada working together to develop and test the standards to create a measurement tool for the Canadian pork industry.

The introduction of Canadian standards to measure pork quality beyond traditional carcass yield and fat cover provides a unique mechanism to establish quantifiable points of differentiation. Enhanced pork quality standards will improve the competitive advantage for innovative producers and meat processors looking to differentiate their products based on specific meat quality attributes for the most discerning domestic and export markets.

"CPQS is an important development for the industry," says Barry Sutton, Vice President, Maple Leaf Foods. "Being able to identify and deliver key attributes like meat colour and marbling scores will help us select the right product for the right market segment and gives us an advantage over our competitors. For instance, the Japanese market has very specific standards and this tool will allow us to market to those standards."

CPQS include six meat colour levels, four fat colour levels and six marbling score categories representing a wide cross selection of pork meat quality attributes. The standards are reproduced on a hand held grading ruler printed in full colour on 16-point food grade PVC plastic and includes a nickel grommet for metal detection and a storage pouch. The meat and fat colour standards correlate with the Japanese Meat Grading Association standards and will calibrate with a Minolta colour meter.

"Understanding the culinary and processing properties of meat is important in order to select and deliver specific product quality attributes to the right market," says Michael Young, VP Technical Programs and Marketing Services for CPI. "CPQS provides the Canadian pork industry with a national approach to identify and select consistent meat quality attributes for value-based markets demanding the very best pork products that Canada has to offer."

CPQS grading rulers are available from Canada Pork International based on a cost recovery value of $45.00/set including a storage pouch. For more information about CPQS or to purchase grading rulers:

Canada Pork International
Tel: (613) 236-9886

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