Research reveals decline in fat levels in UK pork

Research reveals decline in fat levels in UK pork

Fat levels in UK pork have dropped according to new research funded by AHDB, the first official testing for nearly 30 years.

The results of a survey looking into the nutrient content of key cuts of pork, last carried out in 1992, reflect key changes in pig production in recent years, including new breeds, changes in diet and supplementation, as well as giving insight into newer cuts like pork medallions, which were not previously tested.

The most significant finding was a fall in fat levels in the lean component of several of the cuts analysed. Other changes in the lean portion include higher amounts of vitamin E and niacin, as well as revealing that 100g of cooked pork still provides a good proportion of an adult’s daily thiamin, niacin, selenium and vitamin B12.

The work, which was also funded by Public Health England (PHE), was carried out by the Quadram Institute’s Food Databanks team in the first half of 2019.

Maureen Strong, head of nutrition of AHDB, said: “This is a significant step forward for the pork industry and further bolsters the nutrition credentials of lean pork cuts and their contribution to a healthy, balanced diet.

“The research confirmed that fat levels in the cuts of pork tested had gone down since the last work was done in 1992. It also showed that these cuts remain a source of a wide range of nutrients like vitamins E and B12, as well as niacin, selenium and thiamin.

“The results reflect the positive changes in pig production made in the last 28 years and reinforce the importance of regularly updating testing on the nutritional content of meat.”

Paul Finglas from the Quadram Institute added: “This is an important study showing some key changes to pork composition for some cuts.  It is important to extend the study to a wider nutritional review of all red meats in the future.”

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