Audio: Workshop Aims to Increase Demand for U.S. Pork Variety Meat in the Philippines

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In this U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) report, Dr. Dale Woerner, associate professor of animal science of Colorado State University, explains how protein binding technology can be used to enhance demand for U.S. pork variety meat items such as tongues, jowls, diaphragms, hearts, kidneys and livers by forming them into larger-sized products. Dr. Woerner recently conducted a workshop in the Philippines, funded through support from the Pork Checkoff, in which these methods were demonstrated for meat processing companies.

The Philippines is a significant destination for U.S. pork variety meat, with exports in the first half of this year totaling 5,296 metric tons valued at more than $9 million – which represents an increase of 8 percent in volume and 39 percent in value over the same period in 2016. On a global basis, pork variety meat exports increased 19 percent in volume (286,787 metric tons) and 32 percent in value ($580.3 million) compared to the first half of 2016.


Joe Schuele: In this U.S. Meat Export Federation report, we speak with Dr. Dale Woerner of Colorado State University, who recently conducted a workshop for meat processors in the Philippines aimed at increasing demand for U.S. pork variety meats.

Dr. Dale Woerner: This is part of a project funded originally by National Pork Board, who had received funding from USDA for the project trying to add value to pork variety meats and raw blood from the pigs. The idea was to utilize fibrin, which is a naturally-found cold binding technology. Two components, fibrinogen and thrombin, coming from the pig’s raw blood, can be used together to cold bond variety meat items, and shape them or form them into something that is more substantial in the way of size, something more usable for chefs, processors, etc. In the Philippines, we met with R and D personnel, so those that are in product development. We were able to demonstrate to them how fibrin works, demonstrate some new and innovative products to them, and then were actually able to leave behind a little bit of the fibrin so that they could take that back to their place of business and experiment with it, as well.

Joe Schuele: Woerner gives a few examples of items highlighted at the workshop.

Dr. Dale Woerner: In terms of taste and eating characteristics, the pork variety meats are very similar to beef but are smaller size. And that smaller size oftentimes creates challenges. So tongues, pork diaphragm, the jowls are a big one because that product can be formed and shaped as bacon, a much lower cost bacon, ears, face masks can be combined together, heart, kidney, liver. With fibrin, they all become functional with one another.

Joe Schuele: For more information, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.