U.S. pork exports have maintained a record-setting pace during the past 15 years and the U.S. Meat Export Federation and National Pork Board plan to keep the trend alive with four new pork cuts that are so versatile they will appeal to consumers worldwide.

The new cuts were introduced to U.S. packers and international sellers last week at Iowa State University in a two-day seminar sponsored by USMEF and NPB.

The national pork checkoff paid for the pork muscle profiling study, which identified four new cuts: pork breast, petite tender, cap steak and pocket roast that are cost effective for U.S. producers and are fresh additions to international markets.

“The new cuts generate ideas on how to utilize the carcass for additional value, but also to increase the ways pork can be used to create a variety of ethnic dishes,” says Paul Clayton, USMEF senior vice president of export services. “Two of the new cuts, pork breast and petite tender, come from the picnic and were usually ground into sausage, but now can be better utilized.”

After learning about the muscles and tenderness of the cuts, Trinidad and Tabago Chef Debra Sardinha-Metivier prepared each into a different ethnic dish so participants could see the cooking flexibility, experience the tenderness and taste the flavor.

For example, cap steak is moderately tender and is great for Mexican soft tacos, while petite tender is perfect in Japanese seven-spice pork.

USMEF international staff members from Europe, Taiwan, Russia, Mexico and the Caribbean were available to provide insight and perspective on international merchandising and marketing options.

“These cuts provide more opportunities for chefs to create traditional and creative dishes,” says Cleo Fu, USMEF Taiwan marketing assistant manager Cleo Fu. “The cuts also provide more value to international buyers, importers and consumers in addition to the U.S. industry.”

During the seminar, presenters identified the parameters used during the research process and how the data can be used to cut, prepare, merchandise and market the new pork cuts.

For more information on the new cuts, go to www.pork.org/porcinemyology.

The study also included research on sensory qualities such as tenderness, flavor and juiciness and was conducted by Iowa State, University of Wisconsin and MichiganStateUniversity.

Through the first five months of this year, U.S. pork and pork-variety-meat export volume is 545,017 metric tons, a 12 percent increase over the same period last year.

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation.