The influence of diets containing either conventional corn, conventional corn with choice white grease, high oil corn, or high oil high oleic corn on belly/bacon quality.
ABSTRACT The objectives of this study were to evaluate diets possessing different fatty acid profiles (as influenced by corn type) with regard to fatty acid profile and firmness of pork bellies. Crossbred barrows (n=196) were fed one of four corn-based diets consisting of conventional corn (CONV), CONV with choice white grease (CWG), high oil corn (HOC), or high oleic, high oil corn (HOHOC). Following 98 days on test, two animals representing the average pen weight (118 kg) were selected for harvest (n=56). A 50-g fat sample was removed from each belly for fatty acid profile analysis. Lateral and vertical flex tests were performed to determine belly firmness. Bellies were pumped and cooked according to a commercial protocol. Total saturated fatty acids increased (P<0.001) and total unsaturated fatty acids decreased (P<0.05) when CWG was added to the CONV diet or when HOC or HOHOC were substituted for CONV corn. Pigs fed CONV corn had firmer bellies, while those fed HOC were softer. No differences were observed across treatment for percentage pump retention, smokehouse yield, or slicing yield (P>0.05). Based on the results of this study, corn type influences fatty acid profile, and belly firmness, but does not affect pump retention, or slicing yields.