Chiller management – delivering processing efficiencies.

Project goal

This project aims to optimise pork eating quality and shelf life using a combination of quick chill and equalisation chillers.

Project summary

A sudden drop in muscle pH will reduce the water-holding capacity of meat, resulting in reduced pork eating quality. Carcass chilling after slaughter improves shelf-life and controls the rate and extent of pH decline.

This project aimed to optimise chiller operations of a new, to Australia, carcase chilling system that uses a combination of quick chill and equalisation chillers, and to determine resulting differences in temperature and pH declines.

Value for producers:

  • Reduces variation in carcase quality.
  • Improves ultimate pH, and therefore meat quality.
  • Carcasses have a higher initial pH due to reduced stress associated with group stunning. In combination with rapid chilling, this results in an ultimate pH that is approximately 0.2 units higher.
  • Through removing need for repeated opening and loading of the chiller, a lower and more consistent chiller temperature is maintained. This results in optimal, consistent chilling and therefore eating quality.


  • When single-file stunners were replaced with group-stunning systems there was demonstrated improvement in ultimate pH, and therefore meat quality.
  • Further enhancement is achieved through use of chilling systems that utilise a combination of quick chill and equalisation.
Research enquiries

For further information on pork quality, please contact Vaibhav Gole on 0436 934 763 or email: