Keys To Quality


Great pork begins with great genetics and the genetics chosen to produce Iowa Gold Premium Pork are Duroc breed based. The reason, Duroc based hogs are proven to produce pork that always delivers a great eating experience. The Duroc hog is one of the oldest breeds of pig used for US pork production. Easily recognized due to red or black coloring and droopy ears, the Duroc is known for quick growth and maturity, deep body, broad ham and shoulder, and a quiet disposition. Shown in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair, Durocs subsequently gained wide popularity – becoming a main sire choice of American farmers and forming the basis for many mixed-breed commercial hogs. Durocs are known for sweet meat, marbling as well as amazing shoulders and spareribs. And again, Iowa Gold Premium Pork is Duroc based.

Determining Pork Quality

Higher quality pork performs better in the kitchen and on the grill. It delivers better flavor and texture for customers insuring a great eating experience. The quality of fresh pork depends on its color, texture and marbling, and can be evaluated by visual appraisal or through scientific tests like the meat’s light refraction, ultimate pH or the Warner-Bratzler shear test of tenderness.

Taste and preference studies show that fresh whole muscle pork is more tender and juicy when it falls in the Reddish-Pink color categories that along with adequate levels intramuscular fat or marbling delivers a great eating experience. The products in the color and marbling level photos that you will see, look different, taste different when cooked, and perform differently when brined, cured or smoked. Let’s start with color.

Pork Color

Iowa Gold Premium Pork meets the 3, 4 and 5 color standards which are well within the Reddish-pink category which is a good indicator of adequate moister levels that are necessary for a juicy flavorful eating experience. The following photos provided by the National Pork Board provide are an excellent look at various color levels. And, once again, Iowa Gold Premium Pork meets the 3, 4 and 5 color standards.


Pale pinkish gray to white 61*

Dark Reddish Pink 4.0


Dark reddish pink 4.0 43*

Grayish  Pink 2.0


Grayish-pink 55*

Purplish-red 5.0


Purplish-red 37*

Grayish Pink 3.0


Grayish-pink 49*

Dark Purplish-red 6.0


Dark Purplish-red 31*

Pork Marbling

As for marbling, which delivers flavor as well as moisture, with Iowa Gold Premium Pork approximately 80% will meet the 4 and 5 standard with a small percentage falling into the 3 standard and the balance falling into the 6 standard. The following photos, also provided by the National Pork Board, provide are an excellent look at various levels of marbling.

Pork Marbling 1.0


Pork Marbling 4.0


Pork Marbling 2.0


Pork Marbling 5.0


Pork Marbling 10.0


Pork Marbling 3.0


Pork Marbling 6.0



Premium Iowa Pork, the producer selected for our Iowa Gold Premium Pork Brand is highly experienced in the rearing and processing of quality pork products. Committed to the humane handling of and care of all livestock, the use of proper animal handling techniques is the top priority. All handling procedures and livestock care steps are set forth and enforced by both company policies and management practices. Premium Iowa Pork takes great pride in their efforts to train and educate their employees as well as livestock producers and partners on the importance of respectful humane handling and treatment of all animals entrusted to their companies.

Feeding Protocols

Hogs chosen for the production of Iowa Gold Premium Pork are fed a high quality protein diet comprised of corn and soybean meal that is supplemented with vitamins for a period of up 6 months. This scientifically balanced natural vegetarian diet is proven to produce well developed muscles that carry a good degree of marbling and moisture that deliver great flavor and juiciness consumers are looking for. And there is more… hogs raised for Iowa Gold Premium Pork never receive any form of preservatives and no artificial ingredients just … a high quality vegetarian diet.