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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5358
Vol. 9, No. 8, 2009, pp. 1697-1711
Bioline Code: nd09096
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 9, No. 8, 2009, pp. 1697-1711

 en Effects Of Age/Weight And Castration On Fatty AcidsComposition In Pork Fat And TheQualities Of Pork And Pork Fat In Meishan X Large White Pigs
Teye, GA


This study investigates the effects of age/weight and castration on the fatty acid composition and the qualities of pork and pork fat. Thirty hybrid male pigs (50% Meishan x 50% Large White) were used. Fifteen were castrated within the first two days of age and the other fifteen remained entire. At 12 weeks of age, the pigs were divided into three groups, each consisting of five castrates and five boars. Animals were fed a basic standard commercial pelleted diet for 30,60 or 90 days and then slaughtered, so that the actual age of the pigs at slaughter was 114, 144 and 174 days respectively. Parameters considered for carcass quality were carcass weight, initial pH (pH45) and ultimate (final) pH (pHu), and P2 backfat thickness. For pork and pork fat qualities, the following parameters were considered: backfat firmness, slip point, sensory attributes and adipose tissue fatty acid composition. Increasing age/weight significantly increased carcass weight and P2 backfat thickness (P<0.01) and had a greater influence on tenderness and juiciness than sex (P<0.001). Fat firmness and slip point increased significantly with increasing age/weight from 30 to 90 days (P<0.001). Increasing age/weight resulted in increased concentrations of Stearic, (C18:0) and total saturated fatty acids (SFA) (P<0.01) but significantly lowered the concentrations of linoleic acid (18:2), linolenic (18:3) and total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) (P< 0.001). Castration increased total lipid by 9.8g (P<0.01), made backfat firmer from 60 to 90 days (P<0.05), but significantly lowered abnormal odour in lean muscle (P< 0.001) and the concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (P<0.01). The nutritional quality index of backfat declined significantly with increasing age (P<0.01) and also in castrates than boars (P<0.05). Backfat thickness, slip point and fat firmness/hardness had good positive correlations with the major SFA (C16:0 and C18:0), C18:0/C18:2 ratio, total lipid and total SFA, but good negative correlations with thePUFAs. Both boars and castrates can produce quality pork and pork fat if they are slaughtered at suitable ages before the boars attain the threshold level for boar taint and before the castrates become excessively fat such that their meat may not appeal to health conscious consumers.

pigs, backfat, fatty acids, castration, quality

© Copyright 2009 African Journal of Food Agriculture, Nutrition and Development.
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