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051003 Pork Group Announces Four New Pork Cuts

October 22, 2005

The National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa, has identified another avenue to stimulate the consumer's appetite for pork and to provide value back through the pork chain -- four new pork cuts. The organization plans to introduce the new cuts to the foodservice segment later this year, and target retailers next year. The new cuts originate from the pork shoulder and leg -- two primals that have not had significant new product innovation and are typically under-valued. After an extensive muscle profiling project funded by the National Pork Board, these individual muscles were identified as having value potential beyond their current use.

"We are extremely excited about these new cuts," Becca Hendricks, NPB strategic marketing manager, commented. "With this project, we can give today's cooks more pork choices and variety, while also adding more value for America's pork producers. Although several muscles could have additional value potential, we chose these four since we wanted to ensure the cuts would be easy to obtain and economically feasible for all parties in the chain."

Researched by meat scientists at the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State University and Iowa State University, the four cuts were chosen for their flavor, tenderness, and ease of butchering. Consumer- friendly names for the cuts are still being developed. However, the four cuts are: * Pectoralis profundi: Similar in dimension and tenderness to a chicken breast, this cut is already being marketed by some packers as "pork breast."

* Teres major: A single portion cut that can be used for upscale dishes because of its high tenderness; it is equivalent to a small tenderloin and could be used for medallions.

* Gracillus: Similar to a flank steak, this cut is good for ethnic dishes like fajitas or Asian grilled dishes.

* Vastus lateralis/Rectus femoris, or "knuckle": A very tender and juicy roast, portioned for two, that could be a rotisserie product or a petite roast.


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