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J Anim Breed Genet. 2012 Aug;129(4):289-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0388.2011.00978.x. Epub 2011 Nov 25.

The relationship between feed intake behaviour with intramuscular fat, cholesterol and fatty acid composition in pork.

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INIA, Departamento de Mejora Genética Animal, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


The aim of this study was to investigate the phenotypic relationship between feed intake (FI) characteristics with intramuscular fat, cholesterol and fatty acid composition in pork. Data were available on 202 Duroc barrows. Intramuscular fatness was positively correlated with a higher percentage of saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), a lower percentage of polyunsaturated (PUFA), omega-3 (ω3) and omega-6 (ω6) fatty acids, and a lower ω6/ω3 and P:S ratio (p < 0.05). Faster growth resulted in a higher level of SFA and a lower level of ω3 fatty acids (p < 0.05). Increased FI, residual feed intake (RFI) and feed intake time (TIME) and a decreased feed intake frequency (FREQ) resulted in an increase in MUFA, a decrease in PUFA, ω3 and ω6 fatty acids and a lower P:S ratio (p < 0.05). In addition, increased FI and RFI and a decreased FREQ resulted in an increase in SFA (p < 0.05). Most of the correlations were a result of a concomitant relationship with intramuscular fatness and disappeared after correction for that trait. Serum total, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were positively correlated with SFA and MUFA, and negatively with PUFA, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and the P:S ratio (p < 0.05). These results have implications for programmes aimed at improving meat quality through selection.

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