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Nutritional values

What's in the meat


Raised with love,
Backed by science

Less drip loss

Better taste

Finer fiber texture

Less color retention

Our research results

We asked a team of scientists to examine our meat and inspect the HCD (histidine containing dipeptides such as carnosine, anserine and balenine) levels.

The purpose of the test was to see what the natural levels are of Norbel pigs compared to the average slaughter pig today and whether these levels can be influenced by nutritional interventions.

HCD and especially carnosine are linked to meat qualities such as reducing drip loss (taste and tenderness), better anti-oxidant effect (colour retention and prevention of spoilage).
Mainly the high-value parts of a pig (pork tenderloin and ham) are naturally richer in carnosine.

Literature data show that HCD content in pig muscle tissue mainly consists of carnosine. According to Simonetti et al. 2019, standard pork tenderloin (longissimus dorsi) for slaughter contains 335 mg carnosine/100g fresh meat and an HCD content of around 350mg/100g fresh meat.

Norbel pigs in the control group contain 380.5mg carnosine/100g fresh meat and 401mg HCD/100g fresh meat in longissimus dorsi (pork tenderloin). There were no differences in gender.

This means that these pigs naturally contain a higher content of carnosine/HCD compared to standard slaughter pigs. The levels are also higher than in the overview article by D'Astous-Pagè, in which different pig breeds are ranked
In addition to carnosine, the anserine content in these pigs was also higher than the literature data from SImonetti.


Remark :
Carnosine cannot be found in plant foods and must therefore be obtained from products of animal origin (almost exclusively from meat/muscle tissue). Carnosine has considerable health effects as described by Wu in Amino Acids, 2019 and Derave et al. 2019

Drip loss
In addition to a higher content of carnosine and anserine, a significant difference in drip loss was also noted. Drip loss is directly linked to the water-binding capacity of the meat. Meat with a higher WBC retains a better appearance on the counter and also leads to lower cooking losses (i.e. water in the pan) and a better mouthfeel upon consumption.
The average drip loss for Norbel pigs in this trial was 5.3%. Compared to Piétrain offspring measured in the same laboratory, this was approximately half as much drip loss. Piétrain offspring showed drip loss between 9.6% and 10.3% in a recent publication by Kowalski et al.

Hilmoor house consumer panel

Hampshire's superior eating quality was demonstrated by studies conducted in the UK and abroad.

In only the last four years, there have been more than 35 taste panels.

74% of participants in a UK consumer panel conducted by Hillmoor House said they preferred Hampshire Cross over regular pork:

  • More tender meat because of low shear force
  • ​High % moisture 

  • Redder, Bluer

  • Intermediar Muscalar fat content 0,9%

  • No significant  difference in pHu

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