Effect of dietary Leucine and Lysine on intramuscular fat content in finishing pigs

Low Lysine levels with high Leucine levels can represent a strategy to increase the intramuscular fat content.
Thursday 13 December 2007 (11 years 9 months 2 days ago)
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Low content of intramuscular fat (IMF) as a consequence of the reduction in the carcass fat levels in pigs, may provoke a reduced palatability of pork. Different nutritional strategies can be used in order to improve the intramuscular fat content. The present study was aimed to evaluate the combination of two nutritional approaches to increase IMF content: low levels of Lysine (Lys) and high levels of Leucine (Leu).

To achieve the objective 36 crossbred barrows with 73 kg live weight were studied in a factorial arrangement, with 3 levels of Leu (low 1%, moderate 2%, and high 3%) and two levels of Lys (low 0.5%, and high 0.7%). Animals were fed ad libitum the experimental diets for 46 days, controlling the growing performance and slaughtering them at the end of the experimental period. At the slaughtering carcass and meat quality were evaluated, collecting also samples for the determination of IMF content.

No differences on the growth performance were found between the experimental diets. Few modifications were found in carcass characteristics and meat quality. Low levels of Lys provoked an increase in the marbling scores determined at the Longissimus dorsi. When considering IMF content, and interaction was found between Lys and Leu; no effect of increasing Leu level was found in the high Lys diets, however, in the low Lys diets, the IMF content was increased for moderate and high Leu content.

Therefore, an increase in the IMF content may be achieved by increasing the Leu content in low Lys content diets.

Hyun, Y., Kim, J.D., Ellis, M., Peterson, B.A., Baker, D.H., McKeith, F.K. (2007) Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 87: 303-306.

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