[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SUMMARY - From 1997, the "Mallorca Black pig" is recognised as an autochthonous endangered extensive pig breed by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. In the present situation, close to 80 extensive farms with more than 1300 reproducers are recovered by the "Mallorca Black Pig Association". These animals are managed in extensive conditions and the feeding regime is based on pasture, cereals, legumes, figs, almonds, acorns and Mediterranean shrubs. A continuous evaluation of new reproducers (electronic identification, DNA traceability, reproductive and productive traits recording and morphological standard appraisal) and across farms genetic exchanges (via auction sales) are basic elements of the conservation and improvement programme set up by IBABSA and IRTA. Apart from the production of piglets for consumption at a low weight ("porcella"), growing animals are slaughtered at heavy weight (120-180 kg) and are used to obtain spiced typical sausages ("sobrasada"). Production, reproduction and carcass characteristics are under investigation to improve efficiency without a reduction on meat and traditional product quality.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An excessive accumulation of androstenone (5α-androst-16-en-3-one) in pig adipose tissue is one of the two major contributors to the phenomenon of boar taint. High levels of adipose tissue androstenone have been related to a low rate of hepatic androstenone metabolism, which includes two stages: oxidative and conjugative. Sulfotransferases (SULTs), alongside with other specific enzymes, play the key role in the conjugative stage of androstenone metabolism. The present study investigated the mechanism regulating expression of sulfotransferase 2B1 (SULT2B1) immunoreactive protein using primary cultured pig hepatocytes as a model system. A specific objective was to determine whether the expression of pig hepatic SULT2B1 is regulated by the sex steroids; androstenone, testosterone and estrone sulphate. The study was performed on entire male pigs of a Large White (40%)×Landrace (40%)×Duroc (20%) cross-breed, average carcass weight 72.2 kg. The study shows that SULT2B1 immunoreactive protein expression can be induced by testosterone (final concentrations, 10 and 500 nM) and repressed by estrone sulphate (final concentration, 100 nM). Androstenone had no significant effect on SULT2B1 immunoreactive protein expression in the range of concentration, 10 nM to 1 μM. Time-courses (0 to 48 h) of steroid effects were investigated. The maximum effects of testosterone and estrone sulphate were observed in 24 h after the steroid treatments. This study provides direct evidence for involvement of sex steroids in the regulation of porcine hepatic SULTs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fifty-four Holstein bulls were blocked by initial BW (301 +/- 7.4 kg) and randomly assigned to 6 treatments following a 3 x 2 factorial arrangement, with 3 concentrate lipid levels (5, 8, and 11% of DM) and 2 lipid sources (whole canola seed and whole linseed), with the objective of evaluating the possibility of increasing the content of n-3 fatty acids in meat. Concentrates (mostly corn meal) were isonitrogenous and isocaloric. Concentrate and straw were both fed ad libitum. Animal BW was recorded every 2 wk, and feed consumption was recorded weekly. Ruminal pH and VFA concentrations were determined monthly. Bulls were transported to the slaughterhouse when they achieved the target slaughter weight of 443 kg (after 105 +/- 4 d of fattening). After slaughter, a sample of LM from the sixth to the eighth ribs was dissected and analyzed for intramuscular fat content and fatty acid profile. Dietary lipid source did not affect overall animal performance, rumen fermentation, or carcass quality. Rumen pH was >6.0 despite consumption by the bulls of large amounts of concentrate. In bulls fed linseed, the percentage of n-3 fatty acids in LM increased linearly with lipid level, whereas in bulls fed canola seed it remained constant. The ratio of n-6:n-3 fatty acids was lower (P < 0.01) in the LM of bulls fed linseed (10.0) than in those fed canola seed (26.0). The content of cis-9, trans-11-CLA in the LM tended (P = 0.06) to be greater in the bulls fed linseed than in those fed canola seed (62.9 vs. 49.2 mg/kg of LM, respectively). Concentration of n-3 fatty acids in meat of bulls fed high-concentrate diets can be enhanced by whole linseed supplementation without affecting animal performance, ruminal fermentation, or carcass quality.
Journal of Animal Science 12/2006; 84(11):3039-48. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acceptability of beef from Uruguay (UY), based on eating quality, was compared with beef produced in different European countries (Germany, DE, Spain, ES and United Kingdom, UK). Consumer tests were conducted in DE, ES and UK (each comprising 200 consumers) using 'Hall Tests'. In each country four samples were evaluated, two from Hereford steers from UY (finished at 2 and 3 years) and two from local meat (the same meat sample aged 7 or 20d). Consumers evaluated tenderness, flavour and overall acceptability using 8-point category scales. Hierarchical cluster analysis, highlighted the existence of different clusters of consumers. Two main clusters were identified in DE and UK. The main cluster identified in DE, was labelled as Prefer foreign-imported beef (n=128). These consumers preferred (P<0.05) the samples from UY_2y in terms of tenderness and overall acceptability. The other cluster was labelled as Prefer local beef in terms of flavour and overall acceptability (P<0.05) and comprised the majority of consumers from ES (n=176) and UK (n=153) and the cluster 2 from DE (n=69). UK, cluster 2 (n=33) that did not discriminate between origin and ageing time of beef. These results indicate that consumers did not prefer the same type of meat within the same country and it is possible that there are individual preferences that could lead to the concept of market segmentation being based on taste preferences. It would appear that Uruguayan beef would be very acceptable in Germany and to a lesser extent in Britain and Spain, although further studies are required that include labelling information.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malic enzyme 1 (ME1) is a part of the tricarboxylate shuttle that provides NADPH and acetyl-CoA required in fatty acid biosynthesis. The pig ME1 locus maps on the proximal end of chromosome 1, where a quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting fat deposition has been previously described. We amplified fragments of 1457 and 1459 bp that corresponded to the complete coding region and the 3'-untranslated region (UTR), respectively, of the pig ME1 gene. The sequences of these two fragments in pigs from three breeds (Landrace, Large White and Piétrain) contained five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the 3'-UTR: C1706T, G1762T, A1807C, C1857A and T1880A. Three haplotypes were found in two generations of a selected Landrace population: H1 (C1706 G1762 A1807 C1857 A1880), H2 (C1706 G1762 A1807 C1857 T1880) and H3 (T1706 T1762 C1807 A1857 T1880). Using Bayesian association analyses, significant associations (highest posterior density at 95%) between ME1 genotype and backfat (BF) thickness at 171 days and muscular pH were found in a Landrace population.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study German (DE), Spanish (ES) and British (UK) consumers’ acceptance of lamb from their own country compared to lamb from Uruguay (UY) was evaluated. Two-hundred consumers in each country evaluated tenderness, flavour and overall acceptability of four types of lamb, two from UY (light and heavy lambs aged 20 d) and 2 local (with two ageing times, 7 and 20 d). In each country 1.5 cm-thick slices of lamb were evaluated by previously selected consumers in controlled conditions. DE and UK consumers showed significantly (P < 0.05) different acceptability scores between samples, the lamb from heavier animals and aged 20 d being the most appreciated. On the other hand the majority of the ES consumers significantly (P < 0.05) preferred the meat from lighter lambs. Production systems, cultural aspects and consumption habits seem to affect the acceptability of the lamb to the consumers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fatty acid composition of commercial lambs from different production systems of Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and of two types of Uruguayan lambs (heavy and light) was studied. Concentrate fed lambs, as Spanish lambs, displayed the highest proportions of linoleic acid (C18:2), while Uruguayan lambs, reared under extensive grazing conditions, showed the highest proportions of linolenic acid (C18:3), due to the great concentration of this fatty acid in grass. German and British lambs, which were fed grass and concentrate, displayed intermediate proportions of linolenic acid (C18:3). Heavy Uruguayan lambs had higher intramuscular fat content (5.92%) than German (4.25%) and British (4.32%) lambs, and this content was twofold higher than light lambs (Spanish (2.41%) and light Uruguayan (3.05%)). Heavy Uruguayan, German and British lambs had a low polyunsaturated/saturated (P/S) ratio due to their high saturated fatty acid (SFA) content and proportion. Principal component analysis was performed to study the relationship between fatty acids. Spanish lambs were clearly separated from the other types and were situated close to the proportions of short chain and n-6 fatty acids and n-6/n-3 ratio in the data plot for fatty acid proportions. Light Uruguayan lambs were located close to long chain fatty acids, and heavy Uruguayan and British lambs were placed near the antithrombotic potential (ATT), stearic acid (C18:0), SFA and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) proportions. German lambs were located between Spanish lambs and the other types.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional genomics, including analysis of the transcriptome and proteome, provides new opportunities for understanding the molecular processes in muscle and how these influence its conversion to meat. The Quality Pork Genes project was established to identify genes associated with variation in different aspects of raw material (muscle) quality and to then develop genetic tools that could be utilized to improve this quality. DNA polymorphisms identified in the porcine PRKAG3 and CAST genes illustrate the impact that such tools can have in improving meat quality. The resources developed in Quality Pork Genes provide the basis for identifying more of these tools.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A polychotomous logistic regression model was used to identify and assess the risk factors for pork meat becoming pale, soft and exudative (PSE). A total of 116 deliveries, comprising 15,695 commercial pigs delivered from different commercial farms to five Spanish pig commercial abattoirs were surveyed. The PSE condition was described as an ordinal response variable (normal, prone to PSE and PSE) based on measurements of electrical conductivity in the Semimembranosus muscle 1-2 h post-mortem. The RYR1 genotype, the abattoir, the season, the gender, the floor surface in the lorry, the loading system, and the stocking density during transportation influenced the risk of PSE condition, as well as on-farm fasting time, loading time, transportation and lairage times. The effect of the RYR1 gene, determined in a subsample of 1331 pigs, was due to nn stress-susceptible pigs, in which the risk of PSE meat (PQM>6 μs) increased fourfold. Abattoirs should be especially careful in summer, when the risk of PSE meat was found to be double that of winter. The risk of PSE meat decreased with the time of transportation, though its effect depended on the stocking density. Thus, our results indicate that, for transits longer than 3 h, the risk of PSE increases with stocking density during transport, while the opposite occurs for shorter transits.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seventy-four young bulls of the Bruna dels Pirineus beef cattle breed were reared in a typical production system and slaughtered at an average age of 381 days and live weight of 541 kg. The animals were evaluated for productive traits, carcass quality, meat quality, eating quality and biochemical characteristics of m. longissimus thoracis (LT). Biochemical measurements included intramuscular fat (IMF) and collagen proportion, haem pigment concentration, lactate dehydrogenase and isocitrate dehydrogenase activities and type I (MHC I) fibre percentage determined by ELISA. Bruna dels Pirineus bulls achieved high growth rates during the fattening period (1.63 kg/day) and showed good carcass quality, with a high dressing-out proportion (607 g/kg, hot carcass), a good conformation score (U; EUROP) and a moderate fatness score (3;1-5). Carcass composition was estimated from the sixth rib joint dissection (682 g/kg lean proportion, 127 g/kg total dissectable fat and 163 g/kg bone). IMF (24.3 g/kg) and MHC I (27.9%) showed high variabilities (CV>30%). Sensory analysis of LT included beef and livery odour and flavour intensity, and overall tenderness and juiciness assessment of loin samples (14-day ageing). Beef odour and flavour were slightly positively correlated with IMF and carcass fatness score (P<0.05). Fatness, MHC I, insoluble collagen and cooking losses tended to affect the livery flavour intensity positively. This variable was significantly higher in meat from bulls of lower carcass quality (i.e. lower conformation score, lower lean proportion; P<0.05) and higher type I fibre percentage. Loin overall tenderness and juiciness were not affected by the biochemical traits studied, however, they were negatively affected by cooking loss (P<0.05).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sensitivity of the consumers to androstenone, evaluated as the degree of smell (strong/weak) perceived by smelling the pure compound, is important in determining their acceptability of pork with different levels of androstenone and skatole. However, 8% (3.3% women and 16.2% men) of highly sensitive consumers like this odour, and 12.7% (9.1% women and 15.9% men) of mildly sensitive/insensitive consumers dislike it. The effect of the appreciation (like/dislike) of the smell in the acceptability of pork samples has not been reported previously. The aim of this paper is to ascertain if this liking for androstenone odour affects pork acceptability as well as the gender, age, and culinary habits of the consumers. Consumers evaluated the flavour and odour of five cooked and reheated samples, and recorded their acceptability on a 7-step scale. Results showed that acceptability of pork increases when the frequency of cooking and eating fresh pork are higher. The acceptability also differed depending on the sensitivity of the consumer within each age group. Appreciability of androstenone odour discriminates more than sensitivity in consumers’ acceptance of pork
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sensitivity of the consumers to androstenone, evaluated as the degree of smell (strong/weak) perceived by smelling the pure compound, is important in determining their acceptability of pork with different levels of androstenone and skatole. However, 8% (3.3% women and 16.2% men) of highly sensitive consumers like this odour, and 12.7% (9.1% women and 15.9% men) of mildly sensitive/insensitive consumers dislike it. The effect of the appreciation (like/dislike) of the smell in the acceptability of pork samples has not been reported previously. The aim of this paper is to ascertain if this liking for androstenone odour affects pork acceptability as well as the gender, age, and culinary habits of the consumers. Consumers evaluated the flavour and odour of five cooked and reheated samples, and recorded their acceptability on a 7-step scale. Results showed that acceptability of pork increases when the frequency of cooking and eating fresh pork are higher. The acceptability also differed depending on the sensitivity of the consumer within each age group. Appreciability of androstenone odour discriminates more than sensitivity in consumers' acceptance of pork.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A sample of about 70 young bulls of each of 10 beef cattle breeds from France and Spain, reared in their typical production systems, was studied regarding growth and carcass quality traits. There were large differences between and within breed-systems. The animals slaughtered in Spain weighed between 444 and 551 kg, whereas the range in France was from 610 to 750 kg. Growth showed a linear tendency; the daily weight gain ranging from 1.03 to 1.65 kg/day. Asturiana de los Valles and Pirenaica were, among the Spanish populations, the breed-systems with more muscle (around 75%) and less fat (8–10%) in the carcass, whereas Avileña-Negra Ibérica, Morucha and Retinta showed opposite characteristics (60–65% muscle and 17–19% total fat at the 6th rib). Bruna dels Pirineus and Asturiana de la Montaña occupied an intermediate position. All of the French breed-systems, Aubrac, Gasconne and Salers surpassed 73% muscle, while the percentage of total fat ranged from 7.6 to 10%. Salers breed-system also showed the longest and thinnest hind-limb. In the wide range of carcass weights studied in this paper, the general relationships among carcass traits were confirmed. Animals with the better conformation were also leaner. Longer carcasses tended to be associated with poor conformation and fatness. Bone content was clearly opposed to carcass conformation and muscle content.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An experimental F2 cross between Iberian and Landrace pig strains was performed to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for diverse productive traits. Here we report results for meat quality traits from 369 F2 animals with records for pH 24 h postmortem (pH 24 h), muscle color Minolta measurements L* (lightness), a* (redness), and b* (yellowness), H* (hue angle), C* (chroma), intramuscular fat (IMF) and haematin pigment content measured in the longissimus thoracis. Pigs were genotyped for 92 markers covering the 18 porcine autosomes (SSC). Results of the genome scan show evidence for QTL for IMF (SSC6; F = 27.16), pH 24 h (SSC3; F = 7.73), haematin pigments (SSC4 and SSC7; F = 8.68 and 9.47 respectively) and Minolta color measurements L* (SSC4 and SSC7; F =16.42 and 7.17 respectively), and a* (SSC4 and SSC8; F = 8.05 and 7.36 respectively). No QTL were observed for the color measurements b*, H*, and C*. Alternative models fitting epistasis between QTL were also tested, but detected epistatic interactions were not significant at a genome-wise level. In this work we identify genomic regions related with meat quality traits. Improvement by traditional selection methods is complicated, and finer mapping would be required for their application in introgression programs.
Journal of Animal Science 12/2002; 80(11):2801-8. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three Iberian boars were bred to 31 Landrace sows to produce 79 F1 pigs. Six F1 boars were mated to 73 F1 sows. The F2 progeny from 33 full-sib families (250 individuals) were genotyped for seven microsatellites spanning the length of chromosome 4. Least squares procedures for interval mapping were used to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL). A permutation test was used to establish nominal significance levels associated with QTL effects, and resulting probability levels were corrected to a genomewide basis. Observed QTL effects were (genomewide significance, position of maximum significance in centimorgans): percentage of linoleic acid in subcutaneous adipose tissue (< 0.01, 81); backfat thickness (< 0.01, 83); backfat weight (< 0.01, 80); longissimus muscle area (0.02, 83); live weight (0.19, 88); and percentage of oleic acid in subcutaneous adipose tissue (0.25, 81). Gene action was primarily additive. The Iberian genotypes were fatter, slower growing, and had lower linoleic and higher oleic acid contents than Landrace genotypes. The interval from 80 to 83 cM contains the FAT1 and A-FABP loci that have been shown previously to affect fat deposition in pigs. This is the first report of a QTL affecting fatty acid composition of subcutaneous adipose tissue in pigs and provides a guide for the metabolic pathways affected by candidate genes described in this region of chromosome 4.
Journal of Animal Science 11/2000; 78(10):2525-31. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two hundred and eighty-four, genetically similar (a three-way cross), young rabbits were fed ad libitum, from weaning, either a commercial diet (group C, ether extract 2.6%) or a diet containing vegetable fat (group V, ether extract, 9.9%) or animal fat (group A, ether extract 11.7%). A principal component (PC) analysis was performed with the variables: ultimate pH at 24 h post mortem measured in the longissimus dorsi (LD) and in the biceps femoris (BF) muscles, colour measured on the surface of the loin, fatty acid composition of perirenal fat, meat fat content of the hind leg, water holding capacity and cooking losses of the meat, and sensory variables determined by a trained panel test. The four first PC explained 62% of the total variation (27, 13, 11 and 11%, respectively). The first PC grouped the fatty acids, the second PC grouped the sensorial variables, and the third and fourth PCs grouped the pHs and the water holding capacity. The projection of the data in the first two PCs showed three separate groups of points. Animals fed with diet V were on the left side of the graph, where the variable C18:2 lies, whereas animals fed with diets A and C lay on the right side of the graph, where the saturated acids were grouped. These were slightly separated by the higher content of oleic acid in the animals fed with diet A. The second PC, where the sensorial variables were grouped, did not separate the animals fed with diets A, V and C. The diets used in this experiment had only a slight influence on the organoleptic characteristics of rabbit meat.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A total of 116 deliveries, comprising 15,695 commercial pigs delivered to five abattoirs, were surveyed during winter and summer. Information about on-farm fasting, transport duration and stocking density, and lairage time was collected. Cortisol, creatine phospho-kinase (CPK), and lactate, and DNA for halothane genotype were analysed in a subsample of pigs at exsanguination in every journey. Electrical conductivity (PQM) in semimembranosus muscle (SM) and carcass characteristics (Fat-o-Meater and skin damage) were measured in each carcass. pHu of SM was analysed in the laboratory in a subsample in every journey. Carcasses were identified as PSE or DFD based on PQM and pHu, respectively. The n gene frequency ranged among abattoirs from 54 to 8%. Mean lean content was 58.9% for nn, 57.3% for Nn, and 55.8% for NN pigs, though a difference of 2.5% lean was observed between two abattoirs with the same n gene frequency. A straight relationship of the incidence of serious PSE carcasses and n gene frequency was found. The overall incidence of serious PSE and DFD carcasses was 6.5 and 12.5%, respectively. A higher incidence of PSE carcasses was found in summer; in deliveries with <12 h on-farm fasting; with transport stocking densities >0.40 m(2)/100 kg pig; and in transports of <2 h duration. A higher incidence of DFD carcasses was found in winter; with transport stocking densities <0.40 m(2)/100 kg pig; transports of >2 h duration; and lairage times >9 h. Cortisol level in blood increased in winter and decreased after 12-18 h fasting time. A rise in the lactate concentration was observed in pigs transported in high stocking density (<0.40 m(2)/100 kg pig) and for a longer time (>2 h). All blood stress indices increase as increasing lairage time. Carcasses with more skin damage had higher levels of cortisol, CPK and lactate, and higher incidence of DFD meat, compared with non and low skin damage carcasses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An international study has been conducted in order to determine the respective contributions of androstenone and skatole to boar taint and their possible variations according to production systems and consumer populations. The presentation of the study and the main results concerning skatole and androstenone levels and data from sensory evaluation or consumer surveys are reported in companion papers. The present paper summarises the main conclusions of the study and gives tentative recommendations. A simulation study was conducted, based on the skatole and androstenone levels currently observed in European populations of entire male pigs and on the results of the consumer surveys. The first part of the simulation study demonstrated that, overall, 6.5% (odour) and 3.0% (flavour) more consumers were dissatisfied with entire male than with gilt pork. The differences were, however, very variable according to countries. Consumer dissatisfaction for the odour of entire male pork was mostly associated with high skatole levels, while androstenone had little influence on it. On the other hand, androstenone and skatole had similar contributions to the level of dissatisfaction for flavour. From the present study it is not possible to determine clear cut-off levels for androstenone/skatole. The regression equations presented in [Matthews, K. R., Homer, D. B., Punter, P., Béague, M. P., Gispert, M., Siret, F., Leask, H., Fonti i Furnols, M., & Bonneau, M. (2000). An international study on the importance of androstenone, skatole for boar taint: III. Consumer survey in seven European countries. Meat Science, 54, 271-283] provide a basis for decision making. However, due to methodological limitations, the results may underestimate consumer reaction to entire male pork. The second part of the simulation study demonstrated that sorting carcasses on the basis of androstenone/skatole would reduce, but not eliminate, differences in consumer dissatisfaction between entire male and gilt pork. For odour, taking androstenone into account did not improve the efficiency obtained from sorting using skatole only. For flavour, sorting using both compounds was more efficient than sorting using skatole only. Sorting out 15% of the entire males, on the basis of skatole only, would result in a difference in the proportion of dissatisfied consumers of 4.2% (odour) or 2.0% (flavour) between entire male and gilt pork. The results of the last part of the simulation study demonstrated that decreasing skatole in entire male pig populations, to levels as low as 0.10 ppm, would still result in a difference in the proportion of dissatisfied consumers of 3.2% (odour) or 1.6% (flavour). To reduce this difference further, the levels of both compounds would have to be reduced still further. The lowest difference that can be achieved is 2.3% (odour) or 0.4% (flavour). The conclusions of the present study may differ according to whether immediate commercial applications or long-term goals are considered. On the basis of the skatole and androstenone levels currently observed in entire male pig populations, sorting out procedures based on skatole is the easiest way to rapidly achieve a significant decrease in consumer dissatisfaction with entire male pork. In most countries, however, this will not be sufficient to obtain the same level of acceptability as with gilts. In the long term, a sharp reduction in both skatole and androstenone would have to be achieved in entire male pig populations to obtain low differences in acceptability between entire male and gilt pork.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The reactions of German (n=472) and Spanish (n=480) consumers of the European boar taint study to boar meat were evaluated according to their androstenone sensitivity. Consumers were checked with pure substance for their androstenone sensitivity. Eighteen per cent of the German and 31% of the Spanish participants were highly sensitive to androstenone, with a significantly higher proportion of women. For insensitive/mildly sensitive consumers, skatole level was the main determinant for the rating of flavour and odour of pork. For highly sensitive consumers, androstenone significantly influenced the rating of odour (Spain and Germany) and flavour (Germany) and is the predominant problem for that group, due to the high percentage of carcasses with high androstenone levels.