American pork is the winner and still champion among South Korean consumers and meat industry experts, according to a recent blind taste test held there.

For the second consecutive year, U.S. pork took top honors in the taste test conducted with South Korea’s food industry experts and consumers, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).

Four types of chilled pork belly and collar butt (U.S., Canadian and two South Korean brands were included in the sampling. Each sample was purchased from the sale seller, cut to the same portion size and cooked identically without seasoning.

Each participant judged the samples on tenderness, juiciness as well as smell and texture after cooking. U.S. pork earned a score of 79 out of 100, 74 for Canadian pork and 74 and 69 for the two Korean pork brands.

“I favored domestic pork prior to this test, but my preference has changed since the blind test,” said Lee Wook-Jung, producer for KBS television and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, a world-renowned network of culinary schools. “The tenderness and taste of imported pork was as good as, if not better than, that of Korean pork.”

Food industry experts were joined by a panel of 10 consumers, including four men and six women.

“We were very confident of the quality and taste of U.S. pork going into the competition, and we will use these results with meat distributors and end-users so they are aware of how well U.S. pork was judged by these experts.” said Jihae Yang, USMEF-Korea director.

South Korea is the number 5 market for U.S. pork exports through the first four months of 2012, accounting 147.8 million pounds valued at $192.7 million.