Effects of fasting and transportation on pork quality development and extent of postmortem metabolism

J. M. Leheska, D. M. Wulf, R. J. Maddock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

One hundred seventy-seven pigs were used to determine the interaction effects of fasting and length of transport prior to harvest on pork muscle quality. The study design was a 2 x 2 x 3 factorial, which involved two genetic sources, fasting (F) or no fasting (N) of pigs 48-h prior to harvest, and three transport times (0.5, 2.5, or 8.0 h) on a semitrailer to the packing plant. Genetic source was a significant source of variation (P < 0.05) for most composition and muscle quality variables. Fasting reduced hot carcass weight 3.6% (P < 0.05), but length of transport did not affect hot carcass weight (P > 0.05). There were no differences (P > 0.05) in percent lean among fasting and transport treatments. Fasted pigs had higher longissimus dorsi (LD) ultimate pH (pHu), darker lean color, higher marbling score and lower 7-d purge loss, 24-h drip loss, and cooking loss (P < 0.05) than nonfasted pigs. Meat from pigs that were transported 8.0 h had lower glycolytic potential (GP), higher LD and semimembranosus (SM) pHu, darker lean color, and lower L*, 7-d purge loss, 24-h drip loss, cooking loss, and shear force values than meat from pigs transported 0.5 h (P < 0.05). Meat from pigs transported 2.5 h had higher LD and SM pHu and lower L*, 7-d purge loss, 24-h drip loss, and cooking loss than meat from pigs transported 0.5 h (P < 0.05). Meat from pigs transported 8.0 h had higher LD pHu and color scores and lower L* and cooking loss than meat from pigs transported 2.5 h (P < 0.05). The fasting x transport interaction was significant for SM pHu, L*, color score, and drip loss. Fasting improved SM pHu, L*, color score, and drip loss for pigs that were transported 0.5 h (P < 0.05), but when pigs were transported for 2.5 h or 8.0 h, fasting had little or no effect on these muscle quality traits. Fasting lowered GP and increased LD pHu for pigs from the genetic source with the higher initial pork quality (P < 0.05), while fasting had no effect on pork quality for pigs from the genetic source with the lower initial pork quality (P > 0.05). Longer transport times resulted in lower GP and higher LD pHu regardless of genetic source. Fasting and length of transport each had positive effects on pork quality, but length of transport effects was greater in magnitude. When pigs were transported for 0.5 h, fasting for 48 h prior to harvest improved pork quality, but when pigs were transported 2.5 or 8.0 h, fasting had little effect on pork quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3194-3202
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume80
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Fasting
  • Glycogen
  • Meat Quality
  • pH
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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