Chilling methods could change meat tenderness
Science Daily is reporting that a recent study is showing that "blast chilling" of pork, ("Blast chilling is a rapid cooling of the muscles for at least 45 minutes at less than negative ten degrees Fahrenheit," said Steven Shackelford of USMARC.) leads to a tougher meat after it was removed from storage. The reason pork was used is that pigs are particularly susceptible to stress reactions on the kill line. John Barlow, in Everything But The Squeal points out that in Spain, pigs are killed using carbon monoxide, in order to minimize stress reactions. But then, Spain produces the finest ham in the world (the jambon iberico negro), and North America produces, well, lots of cheap pork.