Review: Pork belly quality, bacon properties and recent consumer trends


Soladoye, P.O., Shand, P.J., Aalhus, J.L., Gariépy, C., Juárez, M. (2015). Review: Pork belly quality, bacon properties and recent consumer trends. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, [online] 95(3), 325-340.


Several factors can affect pork belly quality and, subsequently, bacon quality. Going by the recent trends in the bacon market and bearing in mind the more choosy nature of the consuming populace, it is imperative to consider the factors that can affect or improve bacon quality, thereby sustaining the current market surge. In as much as both genetic and environmental factors have been identified as largely affecting muscle food quality, nutritional interventions also seem to be a very viable tool to improve the quality of meat and its products. Processing and storage methods can also affect bacon quality, including microbial quality, physicochemical attributes and palatability. Both objective and subjective measures have been explored in assessing belly quality, most of which use belly softness and fatty acid profile as yardsticks, whereas bacon quality has been widely assessed only subjectively in terms of fat quality and slice integrity. Although consumers’ and producers’ quality perceptions seem to be in conflict, it is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the bacon industries to come together in ensuring a balanced approach to satisfy both parties along the production chain.