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This learning resource provides information on one of the most critical control factors, the water holding capacity of meat that interfaces pig production, pork processing, product development, marketing, and meat science. Knowledge of WHC is essential to maximize company profitability and to minimize product problems.

For employees in industry (5 notional study hours, 0.25 ECTS)

  • Read sections I and II on "Introduction and significance of WHC" and "Major factors affecting WHC".
  • Identify major factors affecting WHC in your meat industry.
  • Read section V "Methods for determining WHC" -- are any measures of WHC done in their plant?
  • Summarize the key messages and put on the comments page.
  • Do the self assessments.

For students in higher education (20 notional study hours, 1 ECTS)

  • Read the sections I to VI.
  • Do the activities as you read the material.
  • Survey a variety of fresh, cooked, and/or processed products at retail. Compare them for: the amount of package purge (free juice); potential water-binding ingredients and if some are present, project their mechanism for WHC; and study the label, does the name or any other notations that suggest anything about water addition and control of water in the product.
  • Make a list of items not clear to you in the learning resource and suggest text additions to solve that problem.
  • Do the self assessments.
  • If possible, discuss aspects of WHC with a colleague.