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Title: The Maltese swine industry and bacon quality
Authors: Gatt, Melanie (2003)
Keywords: Agriculture -- Malta
Swine -- Malta
Animals -- Malta
Issue Date: 2003
Citation: Gatt, M. (2003). The Maltese swine industry and bacon quality (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: The swine population which was in existence twelve thousand years ago was genetically different from the swine bred nowadays. Today's pigs are genetically superior. They produce a lot of offspring, they grow fast and they are efficient food converters. All of this maximises profit for the pork producer. However, for a swine producer to maximise on profits good management practices are essential. Good management practices enhance pork quality. Management practices include good swine housing, swine nutrition and swine health. Swine producers sell their pigs to the local abattoir. In Malta swine breeders are paid according to the pigs' weight and back fat thickness. The abattoir is then responsible for the distribution of carcasses to the meat processors. Unlike health-conscious consumers, pig breeders and meat processors find fatter carcasses easier to grow and process. Carcasses shrink during curing procedures. Fatter carcasses shrink less than leaner carcasses. Since Malta's accession into the European Union (EU) farmers and meat processors are legally bound to follow the EU directives. Swine farmers will have to follow directives that deal with swine husbandry. The EU also regulates processing and packaging of pork products, these will affect the pork processor. The Maltese Ministry of Agriculture will be controlling both the swine breeder and the meat processors, to make sure that they abide by the EU regulations. These regulations will ensure better pork quality. The EU unlike USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) does not pose restrictions on the meat to lean ratio of streaky bacon. The USDA imposes restrictions on the lean to fat ratio, the size of the bacon rashers, the presence of bone, cartilage and any foreign material. Experiments were carried out to investigate locally produced streaky bacon. The bacon rashers have a high lean to fat ratio. However, the rashers also have too much bone and the shape of bacon rashers is not uniform. The USDA would have these bacon rashers discarded. Consumers tend to visually appraise vacuum-packed streaky bacon. Health conscious consumers prefer leaner bacon, which has a bright red colour. Consumers prefer back and collar bacon to streaky bacon, since the latter has a very high calorific value and a lot of unsaturated fats. Bright red bacon is thought to be fresher. Consumers don't know that the colour is due to the additives used during the curing process.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - InsES - 1995-2013

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