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J Anim Sci. 2009 Jan;87(1):285-95. doi: 10.2527/jas.2008-1213. Epub 2008 Sep 26.

Dietary conjugated linoleic acid changes belly and bacon quality from pigs fed varied lipid sources.

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Iowa State University, Ames 50011, USA.


The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of dietary lipid source with or without the addition of CLA on bacon composition and quality. Forty-eight barrows at a beginning BW of 55 kg +/- 2.2 were fed 1 of 6 diets for 56 d. These diets consisted of: 1) normal corn (NC), 2) NC + 1.25% CLA-60 oil (NC + CLA), 3) high-oil corn (HOC), 4) HOC + 1.25% CLA-60 oil (HOC-CLA), 5) NC + choice white grease (CWG; NC + CWG), and 6) NC + CWG + 1.25% CLA-60 oil (NC + CWG + CLA). The CLA-60 contains 60% CLA isomers in the oil, and therefore, 1.25% oil was needed to achieve 0.75% CLA in the diet. Soy oil replaced CLA in control diets. Choice white grease and high-oil corn were selected as fat sources for this study because of their utility in energy density for growing-finishing pigs, especially in hot weather. Pigs were slaughtered at an average BW of 113 kg +/- 4.1, and carcasses were fabricated at 24 h postmortem. Statistical analysis was performed using the mixed model procedure of SAS, and the main effects tested were dietary lipid source, CLA, and 2-way interaction. The addition of CLA to each basal diet improved (P < 0.05) belly firmness measured either lean side down or fat side down from the belly bar firmness test [4.39 cm vs. 7.01 cm (lean down) and 5.75 cm vs. 10.54 cm (fat down)] for 0 and 0.75% dietary CLA, respectively. The compression test used on bacon slabs showed that bacon from CLA-supplemented pigs was approximately 20% firmer than that from controls. Pigs fed the HOC diets had softer bellies compared (P < 0.05) with pigs fed the NC diet as measured by the belly bar test [6.94 cm vs. 9.26 cm (fat down)], respectively. Conjugated linoleic acid did not, however, improve bacon sliceability. No differences were observed for moisture, protein, or lipid percentages between any treatments. Overall, there was a CLA effect (P < 0.04) for lipid oxidation, in which the addition of CLA decreased bacon oxidation (0.1498 CLA vs. 0.1638 no CLA). Dietary CLA increased the percentage of SFA in tissues from pigs supplemented with CLA. Dietary inclusion of CLA increased the concentration of all measured isomers of CLA in bacon. Sensory scores of bacon showed no differences for any of the sensory attributes measured between any of the treatments. Our results indicate that inclusion of dietary CLA will improve belly firmness, extend the shelf life stability of bacon, and increase the degree of fat saturation.

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