Bacteriology and Meat Quality of Moisture Enhanced Pork from Retail Markets in Canada

Karola R. Wendler, Francis M. Nattress, Jordan C. Roberts, Ivy L. Larsen, Jennifer Aalhus


Packages of moisture-enhanced and conventional pork chops were collected from six Canadian retail stores on five sampling days. The composition of injection brines differed between retailers, but all contained polyphosphates and salt as main ingredients. Meat quality characteristics and bacteriology were analyzed from collected meat samples. Moisture enhanced chops had a higher pH and a higher water holding capacity than conventional. Juiciness and overall tenderness were improved in moisture enhanced chops. The surfaces of moisture enhanced chops were discoloured; the chops were darker and displayed less colour saturation. Total numbers of aerobes, psychrotrophs and lactic acid bacteria were not affected by moisture enhancement but numbers of Enterobacteriaceae, pseudomonads and Brochothrix thermosphacta, bacteria frequently associated with microbial spoilage, were approximately 1 log CFU·g-1 higher in moisture enhanced samples. This work shows moisture enhancement with injection brines containing salt and phosphates can result in a more palatable product. 

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0895 (Online)  E-mail:

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