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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Carcass quality and technological and sensory meat quality of once-bred gilts in a seasonal outdoor rearing system

Heyer A, Andersson HK, Rydhmer L, Lundstrom K


Seasonal application of once-bred gilts for piglet and meat production outdoors could be a worthwhile alternative rearing form to normal commercial production. Compared with growing/finishing pigs, payment for sow carcasses is considerably reduced because of an assumed decrease in meat quality and processing properties. The purpose of this study was to compare maiden and once-bred gilts for carcass quality, and technological and sensory meat quality. The control group of 14 gilts (LW* L and LW* D) was reared indoors and slaughtered unmated at an average live weight of 145 kg. In contrast, 38 once-bred gilts of the same breeds were initially reared like the maiden control, inseminated and then housed outdoors from one month before farrowing until slaughter. Carcass traits, technological meat quality ( pH, internal and surface reflectance, water holding capacity, commercial processing yield ( total yield) and laboratory processing yield (Napole yield), WB shear force and chemical composition of M. longissimus dorsi were measured. Sensory meat quality ( taste panel) of oven-baked M. longissimus dorsi and cured and smoked M. semimembranosus et adductor was investigated. Carcass quality traits such as higher lean meat content and lower backfat thickness were preferable with the once-bred gilts. For technological meat quality characteristics, once-bred gilts had lower thawing loss, Napole yield, dry matter and higher total work of WB shear force and intramuscular fat, compared to maiden gilts. In general, sensory meat quality was comparable between the two groups. In processed meat only, once-bred gilts had higher juiciness and salinity and unfavourable increased stringiness, compared to maiden gilts. Thus, once-bred gilts produce valuable carcasses and are suitable for an outdoor seasonal rearing system

Published in

Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A - Animal Science
2004, Volume: 54, number: 2, pages: 103-111