The properties of fresh and processed pork are dependent on factors related to composition of the product such as moisture, lipid and protein content. It is important to recognize, however, that it is not just the amount of these components, but rather the characteristics of protein, lipid and water that are responsible for differences in pork color, texture, water holding capacity and tenderness. In many cases, it is the proteins in pork that are primarily important in the variations that are observed in these traits. The state and nature of proteins are primarily responsible for pork color, pork texture, pork tenderness and water holding capacity.
U.S. Pork Center of Excellence
Lonergan, Steven, "Pork Quality: pH Decline and Pork Quality" (2012). Animal Science White Papers, Technical Reports, & Fact Sheets. 7.