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J Anim Sci. 2000 May;78(5):1272-6.

Effect of dietary lysine level and environmental temperature during the finishing phase on the intramuscular fat content of pork.

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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, 61801, USA.


This study was designed to investigate the effects of dietary lysine level on the intramuscular fat content of the longissimus in finishing pigs reared at two environmental temperatures. Seventy-two hybrid gilts were individually penned and given ad libitum access to either a diet formulated to meet their lysine requirement (6.4 g/kg lysine) or a lysine-deficient diet (4.8 g/kg). Pigs were held at one of two environmental temperatures (thermoneutral [18 degrees C] or hot [32 degrees C]). The study was carried out between approximately 90 and 126 kg live weight; pigs in the thermoneutral and hot environments were on test for 5 and 7 wk, respectively. There were no interactions between dietary lysine level and environmental temperature. Dietary lysine content did not influence feed intake or average daily gain; however, pigs on the lysine-deficient diet had a poorer gain:feed ratio than those fed to requirement (P < .01). High environmental temperature decreased feed intake (P < .001) and average daily gain (P < .01) but improved gain:feed ratio (P < .01). Backfat at the 10th rib was increased and loin eye area and estimated percentage lean in the carcass were decreased for pigs on the lysine-deficient diet. The higher environmental temperature resulted in an increase in carcass length but had no effect on other carcass measurements or intramuscular fat. Feeding the lysine-deficient diet resulted in an increase of .55 percentage unit in longissimus intramuscular fat content (P < .01); however, there was no difference in subjective marbling scores between the diets. Warner-Bratzler shear force values were not affected by dietary lysine level or environmental temperature. Results from this study suggest that feeding of lysine-deficient diets at the end of the finishing period can increase intramuscular fat deposition under thermoneutral and hot conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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