Pork Chop Study Recruitment

Posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022


Researchers in the Department of Animal Biosciences at the University of Guelph are undertaking a study which aims to understand consumer acceptance of pork chops from pigs that have different amounts of carcass fat.   

We are recruiting U of G employees as participants for an in-home consumer evaluation of pork chops from pigs that differ in carcass fatness.  Participants will be provided with 4 pork chops that they will receive once they have submitted a signed consent form.  Participants are asked to prepare pork chops as they normally would at home, and to then assess each pork chop for tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall acceptability.  A brief survey will be included with the pork chops and we ask that after sampling the pork chops,  participants complete the survey and return it to us in the provided stamped, self-addressed envelope, via a self-addressed envelope without a stamp that can be placed in campus mail, or electronically using Google forms. 

To be eligible for the study, you must:

  • live in the surrounding area
  • regularly consume pork, and
  • be 21 years of age or older 

This offer is limited to one package per family/household

These pork chops have been prepared in Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulated facilities that routinely prepare meat products for restaurants and grocery store chains.  Pork chops were frozen after 14 days of aging  to enhance eating quality. While this is high quality pork, participants may experience a range in eating quality for tenderness (tough to very tender), juiciness (dry to very juicy), and flavor (presence of off flavors to a very desirable pork flavor). 

You have the right to refuse to answer any question in the questionnaire.  There are limited quantities of pork chops to be evaluated. If you are interested, please e-mail us at porkstudy@uoguelph.ca with your contact information.  You must be willing to come to the University of Guelph Meat Laboratory located in ANNU (Building 70) at an arranged time on designated days to pick up your package of pork chops for evaluation.  The Meat Laboratory is located next to Room 156 on the north side of the building closest to Food Science. 

To ensure appropriate safety precautions when conducting in-person study procedures, the plan for conducting in-person visits outlined in the ‘Research Management Plans’ document (developed for the pandemic) will be followed to protect everyone involved in the process.  Participants  will have to sign a consent form to be able to pick up the pork chops.  The consent form can be signed and then e-mailed to porkstudy@uoguelph.ca before they pick up the pork chops,  or the participant can sign the consent form when they come to pick up the pork chops.  Researchers will make arrangements for interested participants to come to ANNU on a specific date and time to pick up their package of pork chops with instructions.  The individual picking up the package of pork chops must be masked along with research team member handing out the package of pork chops.  The participant will be instructed that at a pick-up time determined by the researchers and the participant, the participant will come to the University of Guelph Meat Laboratory, located at the Animal Science and Nutrition Building, (located on the north side of the building, closest to Food Science) with the Meat Lab ​located ​right next to room 156. 

Researchers involved in the study will be present to hand out the package of pork chops and an envelope containing instructions, evaluation form, and return envelope which will be in a clean white, never used before plastic bag.  Once the masked participant has been identified, a masked research team member will give the participant the plastic bag with pork chops and envelope. This envelope will contain instructions, the evaluation form, a pork degree of doneness color guide, and a return envelope.  We suggest that you place the bag in your car or backpack and then use hand sanitizer.  Upon arrival at your destination, we suggest you place the package of pork chops in a freezer and the envelope in a dry safe place and then thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.  Wait at least 7 days before handling the envelope again and cooking the pork.  The pork chops should be removed from the packaging when you plan to cook and evaluate the chops, making sure your hands get thoroughly washed  with soap and water after handling the raw product. 

This project ( REB# 21-01-021) has been reviewed by the University of Guelph’s Research Ethics Board for compliance with federal guidelines for research involving human participants. 

The participants will be provided with a self addressed, stamped  envelope so that they can send back the completed questionnaire or they can do the questionnaire using Google form surveys.  There is no compensation for participants besides being given the pork chops free of charge.


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