The Effect of Brine Temperature on Smokehouse Yield, Sensory Characteristics, and Color Scores of Bacon
The objective of this study was to determine if changes in brine temperatures could impact brine uptake, smokehouse yield, retail color score, microbial load, and sensory characteristics of bacon. Treatments consisted of three brine temperatures -1°C (cold), 10°C (medium), and 21°C (warm). There were no differences between treatments for cooked weights and chilled processed weight percentage. Also, microbial aerobic plate counts were not changed by brine temperature (P > 0.05). By d 35, the cold treatment had (P < 0.05) less oxidized flavor and medium and warm treatments had less color fading and a darker cured color (P < 0.05). Nitrite levels were higher (P < 0.05) in the cold treatment compared to the warm treatment. Brine temperatures did not change overall yield and microbial growth; however, changes in brine temperature did effect color score, sensory characteristics, and nitrite levels in finished product.