Sensory Characteristics and Metabolomics for Flavour Selection in Pork

The hog industry in Manitoba is a very efficient means of converting grains and pulses into high quality protein. Fresh pork is a healthy and nutritious source of protein, yet demand remains static. One of the main reasons cited by consumers for not choosing pork is the absence of good taste in modern pork. The objective of this project is to get fresh pork back on the dinner table by restoring its flavour. The process in which to achieve this goal will include the use of sensory analysis to test the flavour of 1,350 pork tenderloin samples from an array of breeds supplied by Maple Leaf. With the additional use of a metabolomics approach, we will correlate sensory results with metabolites to determine which samples result in the most naturally flavorful meat samples. Maple Leaf already owns or controls about 80,000 sows mainly in Manitoba, producing 1.8 million market hogs annually. Improving the pork flavour will further increase profitability for Maple Leaf and the hog industry, increase sales volume and revenue for the meat industry, and expand the choice of healthy protein for the consumer.

Faculty Supervisor:

Michel Aliani


Erin Goldberg


Maple Leaf Foods


Food science




University of Manitoba



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