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Fatty acid profile, oxidative stability of pork lipids and meat quality indicators are not affected by birth weight

Alvarenga, A. L. N., Sousa, R. V., Parreira, G.G., Chiarini-Garcia, H., Almeida, F. R. C. L.
Animal 2014 v.8 no.4 pp. 660-666
chemical analysis, cholesterol, cooking quality, finishing, lipid peroxidation, longissimus muscle, low birth weight, males, meat quality, oxidative stability, pH, piglets, polyunsaturated fatty acids, pork, rearing, sensory evaluation, temperature, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances
The aim of this study was to investigate whether fatty acid (FA) profile, oxidative stability of lipids and other meat quality traits differed between high (HW: 1.8 to 2.2 kg) and low (LW: 0.8 to 1.2 kg) birth weight piglets. Forty new-born male pigs (n=20 HW, n=20 LW) were reared in separate pens until the finishing period, when they were slaughtered at 150 days of age, and pH and temperature were measured in the carcass. Afterwards, the Longissimus dorsi muscle was excised from the carcass, and samples were collected for subsequent meat quality analyses (thaw loss, cooking loss, shear force, chemical analysis and sensory analysis for tenderness). Birth weight had minor impacts on meat quality traits, which were limited to higher shear force in the LW group (P<0.01). Chemical components (moisture, protein, fat, ash), cholesterol levels and lipid oxidation (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances) were not affected by birth weight (P>0.05). FA profile and the amount of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids were similar, but HW pigs had higher atherogenic index than their LW counterparts (P<0.01). Notwithstanding the higher shear force presented by the lower birth weight pigs, in the sensory test, the panelists did not detect any differences in the tenderness of pork from HW and LW animals. Therefore, our results suggest that low birth weight has minimal impact on meat quality.