The European Commission has allocated a grant to PIC and its research partners for a project entitled "New Gene Tools to Improve Pig Welfare and the Quality of Pork" or "QualityporkGENES".

QualityPorkGENES research focuses on meeting consumer expectations for pork quality and welfare. The research partnership will use functional genomics and proteomics techniques to identify the genes and encoded proteins responsible for variation in pork quality traits.

Advanced techniques, including microarray-based gene expression profiling will be used to identify genes, which are differentially expressed in muscle tissue associated with variation in muscle quality. The research team also will look at protein differences in muscle tissue post-harvest and establish associations with variances in meat quality. The study will encompass a collection of phenotypic and genotypic data from five breeds of pigs.

Expected results include the detection of genetic and/or biochemical markers that can be used to improve pork quality attributes to heighten consumer satisfaction.

The project's cost, comprising the EC grant, funding from PIC and the other research partners, is estimated at $3.4 Million (U.S.).

PIC news release