While taste is generally subjective and often comes down to personal preference, every food lover is always on the hunt for the perfectly cooked dish. NZ Pork and Ag Research believe that recent research has in fact uncovered the secret to what makes great-tasting pork.
NZ Pork CEO Brent Kleiss told REX host Dominic George that the flavourful secret of pork lies in its pH level as well as the pig's gender.
"Consumer testing identified a preference for pork with normal pH levels, and those with low pH achieved less favourable scores," he explained.
Their research suggested that a delectable pork dish starts with a pig with normal pH levels, regardless of gender. However, when the pH dips low, the meat from a male pig is less desirable.
When asking those testing and reviewing the pork samples, Keliss said there were a number of qualities taken into account.
"The most important characteristic was aroma, closely followed by flavour, tenderness and juiciness."
The other piece of valuable advice Kleiss shared for cooking enthusiasts was the 6-2-2 cooking method.
"Six minutes on one side, two minutes on the other and then two minutes rest."
This method, he assures, will result in a pork dish that’s brimming with aroma, flavour, tenderness, and juiciness. Kleiss further explained that leaving a bit of pink in the middle of the pork is perfectly fine, debunking a common misconception about undercooked pork.
African Swine Fever has been an issue for Pig farmers in recent times and the impact it could have on the pork industry in New Zealand. Kleiss emphasised the importance of an outright ban on imports from a country detected with African Swine Fever until there has been a thorough assessment of that country's in-house controls.
"We should do the same until there's an assessment done on how they're controlling that within the borders of that country."
He further explained the necessity of reciprocal agreements between countries that are trading partners.
Listen to the full chat between NZ Pork CEO Brent Kleiss and Dominic George above.