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Arch Anim Nutr. 2008 Oct;62(5):415-25. doi: 10.1080/17450390802214183.

Effects of supplementing two levels of magnesium aspartate and transportation stress on pork quality and gene expression of micro-calpain and calpastatin of finishing pigs.

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Animal Nutrition Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an, Sichuan, PR China.


The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of supplementing swine finishing diets with two levels of magnesium aspartate (MgAsp) and short-term transportation stress on blood parameters, pork quality and the mRNA abundance of p-calpain and calpastatin in muscles of finishing pigs. Thirty-six crossbred finishing pigs (mean BW 90 kg) were assigned randomly to 0, 1000, or 2000 mg supplemental Mg from MgAsp per kg of diet for five days before slaughter. Then six pigs from each dietary treatment were subjected either to no transportation stress (NTS) or 2 h of transportation stress (TS). Transportation stress resulted in higher concentrations (p < 0.01) of serum calcium, glucose and cortisol, lower pH (p < 0.01), higher Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) (p < 0.05) and higher calpastatin mRNA abundance (p = 0.05) of longissimus muscle (LM) compared with NTS treatments. Supplementation of MgAsp in TS treatments increased serum Mg concentration (p < 0.05) at 2000 mg of Mg/kg, reduced drip loss (p < 0.05) and improved pork quality colour (p < 0.05) at 2000 mg of Mg/kg, and decreased 1-day and 3-day WBSF (p < 0.05) at 1000 mg of Mg/kg compared with TS treatments fed the control diet. It is concluded that supplementation of MgAsp improves water-holding capacity and pork colour, and alleviates the negative effects of transportation stress on meat tenderness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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