Since cooked meat color is affected by meat pH, appearance alone cannot be used to determine meat doneness. Pork is juicier and more flavorful when not overcooked. An awareness of the differences in uncooked pork color can increase consumer satisfaction with pork products. COLOR IS AN UNRELIABLE INDICATOR OF DONENESS Pork can be affected by two factors, a function of pH and cooking heat. First, there’s “persistent pink” color when high pH pork stays pink even after cooked to a high temperature, the pink color can even become more pronounced after the pork is sliced and thus exposed to air.



What color should cooked pork be in the middle?

The pink color doesn’t mean that the meat is undercooked. In fact, when pork is cooked to the recommended internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s normal to see pink in the center. In fact, even when the pork is well done, it might still retain a hint of pink.

How do you tell if pork is cooked fully?

To check doneness properly, use a digital cooking thermometer. Fresh cut muscle meats such as pork chops, pork roasts, pork loin, and tenderloin should measure 145° F, ensuring the maximum amount of flavor. Ground pork should always be cooked to 160° F.

Is pork still slightly pink when cooked?

As we’ve discussed, pork can be cooked to the recommended temperature of 145°F and still remain pink. Any cut of pork that registers less than 145°F is undercooked, regardless of what color it is.

Why does pork turn pink when cooked?

Although cooked color in pork is already complicated enough to frustrate most processors and consumers, the myoglobin in meat can further complicate the situation. Intact and ground meat can display two other characteristics known as persistent pink color and return-to-redness (Cornforth 1994).

How can you tell the difference between beef and pork?

While beef follows a red to pink to brown pattern as it is heated, pork turns from pinkish-red to less pink to tan or white. Myoglobin concentration in beef is greater than in pork. Consequently, the forms of myoglobin are easier to identify in beef, while the color changes in pork (red, purple and brown) are more subtle.

What are the typical Doneness levels of pork products?

The typical doneness levels of beef (rare, medium rare, medium, and well) are evaluated by cooked color (AMSA, 1995). Such guidelines have not been established in pork products.

What determines the internal color of cooked ground beef?

Effect of pH and total pigment concentration on the internal color of cooked ground beef patties. J. Food Sci. 54:1-2. Trout, G.R. 1989. Variation in myoglobin denaturation and color of cooked beef, pork, and turkey meat as influenced by pH, sodium chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, and cooking temperature. J.