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Members in the News

AMSA PORK 101 Course Makes an Impact at IPPE

Feb 03, 2015

Forty-two individuals from the United States and other six countries attended the AMSA PORK 101 that was presented at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, GA earlier this week. This four hour hands-on workshop, supported by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), was led by AMSA members Drs. Davey Griffin from Texas A&M University, and Dean Pringle from the University of Georgia. This workshop gave attendees a brief overview and insight into what is covered in the three day course.

Dr. Griffin started off this session with an in depth discussion on pork quality and what is going on in the industry. He then went on to explain what is taught during the full PORK 101 course. He presented slides and pictures discussing how attendees at the full course have the opportunity to experience firsthand in the selection, evaluation and fabrication of their pork carcasses. During his presentation he also spoke about the importance of hog handling, grading, food safety, processing of their products and much more. Dr. Griffin engaged attendees in the discussion by helping them to understand all the topics that are explored during the PORK 101 full program, the impact this has on the industry and the benefits gained by all participants. 

After the break attendees came back to a nice surprise or as Dr. Griffin put it, "this is a university taught course so we have a pop quiz for you." Participants evaluated 15 retails cuts that were prepared and packaged by Griffin, Pringle and two AMSA student members from the University of Georgia, Haley Gilleland and Caitlyn Frost. Attendees were asked to identify the primal as well as the retail name for each cut, completely on their own, and after 15 minutes attendees were asked to join Griffin and Pringle in the front of the room for part two of the course, fabrication. Griffin and Pringle spent the next hour walking through and demonstrating how to breakdown the pork carcass and identifying the different primals. Attendees, standing just feet from the carcass, were engaged and excited to see and understand how each cut was made asking questions throughout the whole process. Attendees really felt that this is a great learning tool and wished they would have been able to participate more and fab their very own carcass. After the cutting demonstrations, the grills were fired up by Haley and Caitlyn as attendees prepared for part three, the taste panel. 

With the support of our AMSA members and the University of Georgia were we able to conduct a sensory panel using normal, enhanced, PSE and highly marbled pork chops. Haley and Caitlyn randomly assigned the cooking order and cooked the first round of chops to an internal temperature of 175°F. AMAS member Betsy Booren, with NAMI, lead this part of the session and asked attendees to evaluate each sample and determine the overall tenderness, juiciness and flavor. After all samples had been evaluated, attendees were asked to share their thoughts on the samples and vote on their preference. Attendees ranked the enhanced and highly marbled pork chop as their favorite with a few more votes going to the enhanced chop. To help attendees understand the importance of internal cooking temperature, two more pork chops were cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F and held for 3 minutes prior to slicing. Booren asked attendees if they could tell a difference in the two samples from the previous samples they were served. Overall they stated how they enjoyed this eating experience more, noting that these samples were more juicy and flavorful than the previous samples. 

General comments from some of the attendees included: 
         • Great course I really appreciate the hands on demonstration! 
         • Great course I look forward to attending the full course in the near future! 
         • I really appreciate the time that the instructors took to walk us though the carcass and explain the different cuts! 

Thanks to our AMSA members who assisted with this PORK 101 course!  

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