Use of electrical conductivity to predict water-holding capacity in post-rigor pork

S. Lee, J. M. Norman, S. Gunasekaran, R. L.J.M. Van Laack, B. C. Kim, R. G. Kauffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


This study was designed to re-examine the interrelationships among ultimate pH (pHu), electrical conductivity (EC) and water-holding capacity (WHC), and to test if EC, using one of two EC instruments, and pHu can be used to predict WHC. The % drip (PD) was used as measure of WHC. Forty-seven pork loins were classified either as PSE (pale, soft, exudative), RSE (reddish-pink, soft, exudative), RFN (reddish-pink, firm, non-exudative) or DFD (dark, firm, dry), based on L* values, PD and pHu. The measurement of EC, conducted using the instrument developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-EC) was highly correlated to PD at 24 h post mortem (CD=66%), but the pH (NWK) measure of EC was not as highly related to WHC as UW-EC. The predictive value of pHu and EC for WHC were similar. When 47 samples were divided into three different groups, such as low (< 2% drip), medium (2-6% drip) and high (> 6% drip) drip loss, UW-EC alone grouped 80% of the samples correctly. Thus, EC seemed to be an accurate predictor of WHC in pork muscle when measured at 24 h post mortem. It is conceivable that EC can be used independently, or with even better success in combination with pHu, to classify WHC of pork carcasses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-389
Number of pages5
JournalMeat Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Aug


  • Electrical conductivity (EC)
  • PSE
  • Pork quality
  • RSE
  • Water-holding capacity (WHC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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