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J Anim Sci. 2014 May;92(5):2030-40. doi: 10.2527/jas.2013-6876. Epub 2014 Mar 18.

The combination of arginine and leucine supplementation of reduced crude protein diets for boars increases eating quality of pork.

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CIISA, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Lisboa, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal.


Fifty-four entire male pigs (Duroc × Pietrain × Large White × Landrace) from a commercial crossbred operation were used to investigate the effect of dietary Arg supplementation, protein reduction (PR), and Leu supplementation on performance, carcass traits, and meat quality. Pigs weighing 58.9 ± 1.6 kg BW were randomly assigned to 1 of 6 treatments (n = 9). The 6 dietary treatments were normal CP diet (16% CP, NPD), reduced CP diet (13% CP, RPD), reduced CP diet with Leu addition to 2.0% (RPDL), normal CP diet supplemented with 1% Arg (16% CP, Arg-NPD), reduced CP diet supplemented with 1% Arg (13% CP, Arg-RPD), and reduced CP diet with Leu addition to 2.0% and supplemented with 1% Arg (13% CP, Arg-RPDL). Pigs were slaughtered at 91.7 ± 1.6 kg BW. Dietary Arg supplementation had no effect on intramuscular fat (IMF) content but produced meat off-flavor and increased meat tenderness and overall acceptability. The PR increased (P < 0.001) IMF content (45% to 48%) but negatively affected the growth performance of pigs. In addition, PR increased (P < 0.05) back fat thickness and decreased loin weight. Leucine addition did not affect IMF content, back fat thickness, or loin weight. There was an increase of juiciness with PR and Leu addition, which accompanied the increase of IMF content with the low-CP diet. The PR increased meat deposition of 18:1c9, SFA, MUFA, and PUFA, which were not correlated with any pork sensory trait. The main combined effect of Arg was an increased tenderness and overall acceptability of pork. In conclusion, it was confirmed that dietary CP reduction enhances pork eating quality but negatively affects growth performance and carcass characteristics of pigs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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