U.S. pork exports have maintained a record-setting pace during the past 15 years and the U.S. Meat Export Federation and National Pork Board plan to keep the trend alive with four new pork cuts that are so versatile they will appeal to consumers worldwide.
These hot new cuts were introduced to U.S. packers and international sellers recently at Iowa State University in a two-day seminar sponsored by USMEF and NPB.
The pork checkoff-funded pork muscle profiling study identified four new cuts: pork breast, petite tender, cap steak and pocket roast that are cost effective for U.S. producers and are fresh additions to international markets.
"The new cuts generate ideas not only to utilize the carcass for additional value, but also to increase the ways pork can be used to create a wide variety of ethnic dishes," USMEF Senior Vice President, Export Services Paul Clayton says. "Two of the new cuts, pork breast and petite tender, come from the picnic and were usually ground into sausage, but now can be better utilized."
After learning about the muscles and tenderness of the cuts, Trinidad and Tabago Chef Debra Sardinha-Metivier prepared each into a different ethnic dish so participants could see the cooking flexibility, experience the tenderness and taste the flavor.
For example, cap steak is moderately tender and is great for Mexican soft tacos, while petite tender is perfect in Japanese seven-spice pork.
USMEF international staff members from Europe, Taiwan, Russia, Mexico and the Caribbean were available to provide insight and perspective on international merchandising and marketing options.
"These cuts provide more opportunities for chefs to create traditional and creative dishes," says USMEF Taiwan Marketing Assistant Manager Cleo Fu. "The cuts also provide more value to international buyers, importers and consumers in addition to the U.S. industry."
During the seminar, presenters identified the parameters used during the research process and how the data can be used to cut, prepare, merchandise and market the new pork cuts.
For more information on the new cuts, go to www.pork.org/porcinemyology for muscle images, muscle profiling data for individual cuts, fabrication videos and raw cut photography. Foodservice and culinary professionals can go to www.theotherwhitemeat.com/hotnewcuts for an overview of the four "Hot New Cuts," raw and plated photography and menu ideas.
The study also included research on sensory qualities such as tenderness, flavor and juiciness and was conducted by ISU, University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University.
Through the first five months of this year, U.S. pork and pork variety meat export volume is 545,017 metric tons (mt), a 12% increase over the same period last year.