Today’s consumers are looking for clear and simple information to help them understand the health and nutritional benefits of the food they buy.

Recent independent consumer research has reinforced that fresh, born and raised in New Zealand pork is seen as the meal option that leads on taste and makes any occasion special. The rising cost of other proteins has also cemented pork’s place as a more affordable family meal choice.

However, it can be harder for household shoppers to find up-to-date information on the nutritional values of a range of popular pork cuts. To help butchers and retailers provide this information for their customers, NZ Pork – the industry good body – has just undertaken a major project with the Nutrition Laboratory at Massey University to analyse the make-up of a variety of fresh pork products.

The Nutrition Laboratory is a Ministry of Health recommended agency offering full nutrition and consultancy services for food labelling to comply with the Food Standards Australian and New Zealand (FSANZ). The Nutrition Laboratory is IANZ accredited to ISO 17025. The organisation also participates in international proficiency programmes AAFCO (USA) and RCPA (Australia) and follows a rigid quality control programme with the use of intra-laboratory checks and calibration standards.

To provide a comprehensive view of the range of pork on offer from butchers and retailers, the Nutrition Laboratory analysed a dozen of the country’s most popular cuts, including loin and shoulder chops, pork cutlets and steaks, roasts, pork belly, fillet and mince. Each sample was extensively tested to provide information about protein, fat and energy content, as well as the mineral profile of every cut.

Overall, the Massey study established that fresh born and raised in New Zealand pork is a good source of essential dietary vitamins and minerals, including zinc, iron and magnesium, as well as potassium, selenium and B vitamins.

While all of the cuts covered in the test project offered a good source of protein, contrary to common misconceptions about pork, a number also stood out as being low in fat. Lean cuts in particular, like pork fillet, which was just 1.5 percent fat and schnitzel (3.5 percent fat) offer a healthy alternative for Kiwis looking to reduce fat content without compromising their protein intake.

NZ Pork is making the full range of nutritional information, as well as a wide selection of recipes, pork product images and videos available online at www.pork.co.nz.

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