Meat Quality

 Industry Partners


Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan


Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:



Impact of piglet birth weight and birth order on subsequent growout performance, carcass quality, muscle composition and eating quality of pork

Posted in: Meat Quality, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre by PSCI on July 31, 2017 | No Comments

This study wanted to answer the questions of:

Does reduced birth weight result In changes In muscle fibre number and/or type?
Does reduced birth weight affect the eating quality of pork?

Conclusion
• As litter size increased, average birth weight decreased
• The variability in birth weight within a litter was unaffected by litter size
• Weaning weight, and weight at 5 and 7 wks post-weaning were unaffected by litter
size

•Carcass quality was consistent across all groups

 

Impact of piglet birth weight and birth order on subsequent growth performance, carcass quality, muscle composition and eating quality of pork

Positively impacting the carcass by adding fat to the diet

Posted in: Meat Quality, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles by PSCI on July 7, 2017 | No Comments

Fats and oils have traditionally been used to increase dietary energy levels for the early weaner phase and for pigs raised in warm climates. Adding fat/oil to the diet can improve feed to gain, reduce manure output and also reduce dust levels in the barn. The correlation between saturated fat intake and coronary heart disease in humans has also prompted inclusion of polyunsaturates into pig diets to increase levels of ‘healthy’ fatty acids in pork. Enhancing pork’s fatty acid profile also has potential for value-added marketing and improving pork’s market share. The benefits of feeding high polyunsaturate levels have, however, been counterbalanced by problems with soft carcass fat, oxidative instability and in the barn, high fat/oil diets can bridge and block feeders.

The effects of CLA have often been contrary to expectations. Generally fats/oils are expected to increase carcass fat, and polyunsaturates should generate soft fat, and a reduced backfat level shouldn’t be coupled with increased marbling fat. Work thus far demonstrates that individual fatty acids have the potential to effect carcass composition and pork quality differently and continued research in this area may prove quite valuable as trends towards branded products and paying premiums for lean content and quality continue.

Positively impacting the carcass by adding fat to the diet.

VARIATION IN PIG PERFORMANCE: A CHECKLIST TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE

Posted in: Meat Quality, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Production by PSCI on July 6, 2017 | No Comments

Variation in bodyweight has a large impact on the profitability of pork production in western Canada.

Variation is measured as either standard deviation or coefficient of variation.

Reasonable targets for CV are 20% of weaning weights, 12 to 15% for nursery exit weights and I 0 to 12% for weight at first pull from the finishing barn.

The number of animals that must be weighed in order to accumtely estimate CV is greater than that required to estimate the avemge weight.

More animals must be weighed at younger ages, because variation as a proportion of the mean is much higher.

If the CV for bodyweight in the feeder barn is above I 5%, reducing it is a reasonable possibility, and probably includes increasing access to feed and water and addressing health problems. if present.

If the CV in growout is less than 12%. then the best strategy is to management variability, as reducing it will be very difficult.

VARIATION IN PIG PERFORMANCE

Tallow and Energy for Grow-Finish Pigs -Monograph

Posted in: Meat Quality, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles, Prairie Swine Centre, Uncategorized by PSCI on July 5, 2017 | No Comments

This experiment was conducted as a follow-up to a previous experiment conducted at the Prairie Swine Centre, which showed that pigs are able to achieve equivalent performance across diets of quite differing energy concentration. These results flew in the face of conventional wisdom, which suggests that increasing dietary energy concentration, notably through the additional of fat, will result in faster growth. This experiment was therefore conducted to re-evaluate this question, and determine if increasing dietary energy concentration would improve pig performance. The experiment was also designed to evaluate the impact of dietary energy concentration on carcass quality and on the uniformity of growth.

The results of this experiment, conducted on a commercial piggery, confirmed that higher energy diets
can be successfully fed without an adverse effect of carcass quality. Despite the fact that the DE content
of the diet increased by 10%, there was no impact on backfat thickness, lean yield or carcass index.
Indeed, the higher energy diet tended to increase loin thickness. Based on performance, carcass quality and financial return, the lower energy feeding program was once again equal to, or superior to, the higher energy programs. In this experiment, the same energy level was fed throughout; it would appear from the data that the most effective feeding program would be one that employs higher energy levels in the growing and early finishing phases, perhaps up to 80 kg, with lower energy levels used thereafter. This would take advantage of the improved growth on the higher energy diets observed during the first 6 weeks in this experiment, and save money by lowering energy during the final phase of growout, when energy did not elicit a growth response. Since 56% of the feed consumed by pigs on this experiment occurred beyond 80 kg bodyweight, substantial savings could accrue from feeding the lower energy diets after 80 kg.

Interpreting the Kill Statement: Reading Between the Lines

Posted in: Meat Quality, Pork Insight Articles by PSCI on June 14, 2017 | No Comments

This presentation outlines key performance indicators, classifying premium carcasses and grading tables.

Interpreting the Kill Statement – W Alford

Feeding for carcass value: Considerations of genetics

Posted in: Economics, Meat Quality, Nutrition, Pork Insight Articles by PSCI on June 5, 2017 | No Comments

Nutritional and genetic strategies individually and in combination offer tools to influence carcass value in many ways. as our knowledge and technologies develop, these tools are becoming more powerful. However, a bigger challenge is to determine the attributes of the carcass where changes or specific targeted levels can add more value. The additional value could come anywhere in the pork production chain, but there is a need  to motivate changes at one point in the chain when the increased value takes place somewhere else in the chain. For example, if genetic suppliers worked to provide sires with higher genetic potential for marbling, this could give producers to tools to produce more pork that meets the requirements of high value fresh pork markets such as in Japan and in new premium branded markets here in Canada. Feeding strategies can also affect attributes such as firmness of the pork and marbling. However such decisions still need to consider costs related to changing specific attributes of the carcass. In the case of nutritional changes, the producer is directly affected and a change could could have a large effect on the cost of feeding. A change in feeding program can also adversely affect important traits other than the ones being targeted. The benefit needs to be at least as large as the cost and there needs to be a way for producers to cover the costs.  The costs of genetic changes, in contrast, do not affect the commercial producer directly, since the breeding stock suppliers are doing the work, and the cost per commercial hog would be very small. There is potential for large benefits from genetics with relatively little cost, but there needs to be a way for breeding stock suppliers to cover these costs. Feeding to genetic potential and selection of genetics for lean yield are examples that have provided opportunities for large increases in net carcass value in the past and continue to provide more opportunities today. Much of the benefit relates to lowering costs for production, slaughter and processing, but there is also increased market hog value for both the producer and the pack. There is potential today to start work on targeting other traits related to pork quality that can further increase carcass value.

Feeding for carcass value: Grading system implications

Posted in: Economics, Energy, Meat Quality, Pork Insight Articles by PSCI on | No Comments

The grading system is back on the pork industry agenda. With renewed interest in developing a national grading system, it is important to understand the attributes that could be included in the grading system and how it could influence carcass value. There are two main pillars to describe the carcass in all grading systems, Quantity being total lean or salable yield and quality. Carcass leanness is one of the outcomes considered in selection of energy and amino acid densities in diets. The Canadian Pork industry is already using some technologies to in efforts to improve carcass leanness and yield. In contrast, there has been less focus on methods to improve other aspects of pork quality. However, with ta new grading system on the horizon, introduction of new technologies may bring financial rewards for improving pork quality attributes. The pork industry already has the tools to improve quality through nutritional changes that have a direct financial cost. Besides providing appropriate levels of dietary levels of energy and amino acids to improve leanness, targeted supplementation of other nutrients can be used to improve pork quality. The adoption of nutrition strategies is however waiting for economic incentive. Focusing on individual animal needs, and when nutritional intervention would be cost effective will, however be a key to improving the bottom line in the pig barn.

Water Sprinkling Market Pigs in a Stationary Trailer Pre- and Post-Transport: Effects on Pig Behaviour, Gastrointestinal Tract Temperature and Trailer Micro-Climate

Posted in: Meat Quality, Pork Insight Articles, Production by PSCI on March 27, 2014 | No Comments

Pigs are susceptible to heat stress, so transporting in extreme conditions can lead to increased incidences and increased mortality. Water sprinkling is used in barns to reduce body temperature, and it could potentially work within a trailer as well. This study examined the effect of water sprinkling on behaviour, internal temperature, physiological changes, and meat quality. The microclimate of the trailer was also recorded. The results show sprinklers reduced the temperature increase and humidity decrease in the trailer, and had no effect on ammonia levels. During lairage, pigs with sprinklers had fewer drinking bouts and spent more time lying. All pigs experienced an increase in gastrointestinal temperature, but it appears to be more related to exercise than external temperature. However, pigs with sprinklers had a greater reduction in internal temperature at arrival. Overall, sprinkling gave some improvement in body temperature, and results could possibly be more significant with the use of active ventilation as well.

Rodenticide Ingestion in Swine: A Project to Assist Veterinarians with Detection and Establishing Possible Withdrawal Times

Posted in: Meat Quality, Pork Insight Articles, Welfare by PSCI on January 29, 2014 | No Comments

Accidental consumption of rat poison such as bromadiolone can happen in pigs, and is concerning for animal welfare, food safety and economic reasons. Blood and feces were sampled after pigs had been given a high or low oral dose of bromadiolone, as well as tissue samples. Blood and feces samples showed bromadiolene, meaning they could potentially be used by veterinarians to determine if pigs have been exposed. Liver samples showed bromadiolone exposure in both doses, and high doses led to muscle tissue also showing exposure. The results can help develop sampling standards after suspected exposure, and to determine withdrawal times.

Effectiveness of Sprinkling During Transport

Posted in: Meat Quality, Pork Insight Articles, Welfare by PSCI on October 28, 2013 | No Comments

Sprinkling pigs with water during hot weather is thought to reduce pig mortality and reduce stress, but there is no standard for when it is implemented. Recommendations for when to sprinkle pigs vary from 14.1-24.8ºC, and not all transport trucks are equip with sprinklers.  Transport can be stressful for pigs, and increased stress  leads to fatigue, and changes in lactate levels and pH, which in turn decreases meat quality. By measuring lactate and pH levels after slaughter, it was found sprinkling before loading and after unloading reduced stress, and increased meat quality when transporting at temperatures over 20ºC.

 
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