Project goal

Conduct a national pH audit to monitor the pH of pork during processing.

Project summary

It is important to manage the relationship between muscle pH and muscle temperature decline to produce high quality meat. This is because pH decline during chilling is related to the quality of the meat affecting colour, drip loss and tenderness.

Knowing this, processors can gather useful information for pork quality management by monitoring pH and temperature in the loin muscle post slaughter.  If pH issues are detected, management controls can be then implemented to maintain pork quality.

The objective of this project was to conduct a national pH audit to monitor the pH of pork during processing.

Value for producers:

  • pH data was collected from 8 supply chains with 13,505 pH measures collected in total, providing holistic industry snapshot
  • Validates that industry is largely in a good position, with some areas for improvement
  • Notable variance between supply chains, meaning addressing pH may be more critical for some supply chains than others. This difference in supply chains may be due to variation in husbandry, housing, genetics, transport times lairage times.


  • Short transport times and long transport times result in lower pH (0-3 hours and 10+ hours). Optimised around 3 hours (5.71 pH) with steady decline from 3 hours to 20 (5.67 pH).
  • 4-16 hours lairage is optimal.
  • Opportunity for further research: Looking at genetics’ effects on pH.
Research enquiries

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