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ABSTRACT

The proportion of cooler shrinkage attributable to moisture loss from the skin of scalded, dehaired pork carcasses was estimated. Mean carcass cooler shrinkage was 1.91% during a 24 hr chill at —2°C. Approximately 80% of the cooler shrinkage was moisture endogenous to the skin. Thus, only 20% of total cooler shrinkage originated from the muscle and adipose tissue. Moisture was not absorbed in significant quantities by the skin during the scalding, dehairing and carcass washing process. Greater cooler shrinkage reported for scalded than for skinned pork carcasses was mostly a consequence of the widely different moisture content of the skin surface of scalded carcasses versus that of the adipose tissue surface of skinned carcasses.