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Short-term feeding strategies and pork quality
- Geesink, G.H., Buren, R.G.C. van, Savenije, B., Verstegen, M.W.A., Ducro, B.J., Palen, J.G.P. van der, Hemke, G.
- Meat science 2004 v.67 no.1 pp. 1-6
- swine breeds, swine feeding, finishing, experimental diets, feed supplements, magnesium, tryptophan, ascorbic acid, vitamin-mineral supplements, animal handling, slaughter, pork, blood plasma, chemical analysis, biochemical compounds, blood glucose, lactates, meat quality, drip loss, color, pH
- Two experiments were done to determine whether short-term supplementation (5 days pre-slaughter) with magnesium acetate, or a combination of magnesium acetate, tryptophan, vitamin E and vitamin C would improve pork quality. In the first experiment the pigs (Pietrain x Yorkshire, n=96) were fed a standard feed or a magnesium supplemented feed for 5 days prior to slaughter. As a possible stress factor half of the animals were slaughtered upon arrival at the slaughterplant whereas the remaining animals were allowed two hours of rest in lairage before slaughter. Magnesium supplementation did not result in an increase in plasma magnesium concentration at slaughter. Omission of lairage resulted in higher plasma glucose concentrations, but plasma lactate concentrations were not affected. Drip loss and ultimate pH were not affected by diet or omission of lairage. Omission of lairage resulted in poorer color characteristics. This effect was prevented by supplementation with magnesium. In the second experiment the pigs (Pietrain x Yorkshire, n=92) were fed a standard feed or this standard feed supplemented with magnesium acetate, tryptophan, vitamin E and vitamin C for 5 days prior to slaughter. Supplementation with vitamin E did not increase muscle vitamin E concentration. Inclusion of supplements in the diet failed to improve water-holding capacity or color characteristics. These results indicate that short-term supplementation with magnesium acetate, tryptophan, vitamin E and vitamin C is of little value in improving pork quality when pigs are not stressed beyond levels associated with routine slaughter procedures.