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J Anim Sci. 2001 Aug;79(8):2187-95.

Conjugated linoleic acid improves feed efficiency, decreases subcutaneous fat, and improves certain aspects of meat quality in stress-genotype pigs.

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Meat Laboratory, Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) was supplemented to crossbred growing-finishing barrows (n = 60) at 0.75% of the total diet. Pigs were randomly assigned to the CLA or control diets based on stress genotype (negative, carrier, or positive). Gain:feed was higher for CLA diet animals (350 g/kg feed) than for control diet animals (330 g/kg feed) independent of genotype (P < 0.05). No differences were observed for ADG for the diets (P = 0.71) or genotype classes (P = 0.40). Postmortem pH was lower (P < 0.01) by 3 h for CLA-supplemented pigs, with no differences in ultimate pH. No differences (P = 0.16) were observed for ultimate pH between the three genotypes. Conjugated linoleic acid-supplemented pigs exhibited less 10th rib fat depth (2.34 cm vs 2.84 cm) and last rib fat depth (2.46 cm vs 2.72 cm) than control pigs (P < 0.05). Loin muscle area (LMA) was not affected (P = 0.18) by CLA supplementation, but LMA was different (P < 0.02) for genotype; positive genotype carcasses had the largest LMA (45.02 cm2) and negative carcasses had the smallest LMA (36.44 cm2). Carrier carcasses were intermediate for LMA (40.76 cm2). Subjective scores for color were not affected (P = 0.98) by CLA but color was different (P < 0.01), with scores of 1.50, 2.40, and 3.1 for positive, carrier, and negative genotypes, respectively. Subjective marbling scores were increased (P < 0.03) in all genotypes with CLA supplementation. Subjective firmness scores were higher (P < 0.06) for CLA-supplemented pigs and were highly correlated (0.89) to marbling scores. The L* values were higher (P < 0.01) for stress-positive pigs at 24 h postmortem. Also, L* values were higher (P < 0.01) for CLA-fed pigs over 7 d of shelf storage. Sensory characteristics were not different with CLA supplementation for tenderness (P = 0.24), juiciness (P = 0.35), or flavor intensity (P = 0.14). This study showed that LMA was increased with stress-carrier and stress-positive genotypes, but lean color was negatively affected with the presence of the stress gene. Conjugated linoleic acid supplementation improves feed efficiency, decreases backfat, and improves pork quality attributes of marbling and firmness of the longissimus muscle. Furthermore, there is seemingly no interaction between the stress-genotype status of pigs and the subsequent effect of CLA on their growth and performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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