Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Animal Science

First Advisor

Joseph Sebranek


There is an increasing concern about potential quality variability of natural/uncured and organic processed meats due to the processing modifications necessary for these products. In addition, microbial safety of these products needs to be evaluated. The goal of the study was to identify the sources of variability in quality of natural/uncured, organic bacon products emerging on the market to provide information relevant to future consumption and safety of these products.

The objective of this study was to quantify the quality characteristics of commercial brands of bacon manufactured without the direct addition of nitrite or nitrate and to compare these products to traditionally cured brands. A total of 12 brands of bacon were analyzed for color, total pigment (TP), cured pigment concentration (CP), % cured color (PCP), water activity (aw), TBARS, pH, salt content (NaCl), residual nitrite (NO2), moisture, fat, and protein. Results from this study revealed that color scores, cured pigment, % cured color, TBARS, salt content, residual nitrite, moisture, and fat were different between the brands of bacon (p<0.05). Comparing overall means were higher between control (traditionally cured) vs. natural/uncured labeled bacon, revealed moisture was different. Control (traditionally cured) vs. organic category overall means showed a*, b* value of obliquus abdominis muscles, PCP, TBARS, moisture, and fat were different from each other (p<0.05). The a*, b*, PCP, and moisture values were lower while TBARS and fat were higher. The results from this project will be used to help prepare guidelines for manufacturing products that possess consistent quality natural and organic bacon products. These results will help processors likely sources of quality issues in natural and organic bacon


Copyright Owner

Charlwit Kulchaiyawat



Date Available


File Format


File Size

65 pages