What happens when meat scientists get their hands on nearly 8,000 commercially raised pigs? They spend a year running dozens of tests and crunching numbers to arrive at research-backed management recommendations for pork producers.
“We had an opportunity to answer a lot of questions for the pork industry,” said Dustin Boler, assistant professor in the animal sciences department at the University of Illinois.
The team, which also included U of I graduate students, USDA meat science researchers, and a representative from Smithfield Foods, recently published their findings in five articles.
Anna Dilger, an associate professor in the department, explained their approach.
“The two main questions were, ‘Can I measure quality in one part of the pig and predict quality in the rest of it?’ And then, ‘What is the true variability in pork quality out there and what’s causing it?’” she said.Read More »