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J Anim Sci. 2003 Oct;81(10):2469-74.

Creatine monohydrate supplemented in swine finishing diets and fresh pork quality: III. Evaluating the cumulative effect of creatine monohydrate and alpha-lipoic acid.

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  • 1Department of Animal Science, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211-5300, USA.


The objective of this study was to evaluate short-duration supplementation of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) and creatine monohydrate (CMH) to improve fresh pork quality. Forty-eight commercial hybrid barrows were blocked by BW and randomly allotted to one of four treatments: 1) no CMH or ALA; 2) supplementation of 24 g of CMH(-1) x pig(-1) x d(-1); 3) supplementation of 600 mg ALA(-1) x pig(-1) x d(-1); or 4) combined CMH and ALA supplements. Twelve pigs per treatment were individually penned with ad libitum access to water and a finishing diet. Treatments were hand-fed to individual pigs daily (divided into three equal doses) for 5 d before slaughter at 113 kg BW in two separate groups of 24 pigs each. Intramuscular pH was recorded at 45 min postmortem and again at 24 h in the ham semimembranosus (SM) and the longissimus muscle (LM) between the 10th and 11th rib. A Meatcheck (SFK Technology, Peosta, IA) conductivity probe was inserted in the same anatomical locations as pH measurement, providing an index value (PY) from 0 to 100 (a higher index value indicates more intact muscle cells and higher water-holding capacity). Color (L, a, b values) measurements were obtained at 24 h postmortem on the ham gluteus medius (GM), SM, and LM. Two 2.54-cm-thick loin chops were removed from the loin for determination of Warner-Bratzler shear force and glycolytic potential. The intact SM and the posterior portion of the boneless loin were vacuum-packaged and stored for 7 d to determine purge loss. Creatine-supplemented pigs had a higher (P = 0.03) PY value in the SM (66.67) at 45 min postmortem than either ALA, singularly (63.50), or in the combined CMH/ALA (62.27) treatments. (A higher PY index indicates superior water-holding capacity.) Lipoic acid supplementation resulted in the highest pH at 45 min (P = 0.029). These results justify further evaluation of the potential positive influence of supplementing alpha-lipoic acid to improve pork quality.

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