For the past few years, pork processors have used sodium phosphate solutions to tenderize raw product – usually boneless fresh pork. As the industry moves deeper into the value-added product offering, non-meat ingredients that improve juiciness and/or tenderness, enhance flavor, improve or stabilize color, increase shelf-life or improve safety in the final product will grow.

Such enhancement practices are not a way to improve low-quality pork, rather they are a way to reduce the amount of variation in pork quality. As you move deeper into the pork chain and embrace your role as a food producer, you need to know and understand more the role of such enhancement products. The National Pork Board recently published a fact sheet examining the non-meat ingredients currently used in enhanced, retail pork products and explaining their functionality.

To find out more, you can view the entire document at www.porkscience.org. You also may contact David Meisinger, assistant vice president of pork for the National Pork Board, (515) 223-2600, for copies.