Performance and quality traits were measured in carcasses from combinations of genotype, diet supplement, slaughter weight, and carcass chilling regime.
Iberian-crossed pigs had lower live animal performance than Duroc and Lacombe. From 70 to 115 kg, Lacombe pigs grew slightly faster than Duroc. Duroc carcasses had a higher lean percentage, heavier ham and picnic primals, and lighter loins and bellies, compared with Lacombe and Iberian. Heavier carcasses had lower lean yield, except those from Iberian-crossed pigs, and bigger bellies. Meat from Duroc-crossed pigs was lighter in colour and higher in marbling, with intermediate values for fat hardness. Iberian carcasses displayed dark meat with intermediate marbling and the hardest fat. Meat from Lacombe pigs was the leanest although, like in all three breeds, marbling scores were higher in heavier carcasses. Generally, supplementing with canola and flax decreased and blast chilling increased fat hardness values. Dietary canola also seemed to affect meat colour traits, but these effects were not consistent among breeds and slaughter weights.
The commercial combination of Duroc breed, control diet, and 115-kg slaughter weight showed a balance in terms of performance, carcass, and quality traits. Other combinations evaluated in this study showed potential to efficiently produce differentiated pork.
H. Zhang, J.L. Aalhus, C. Gariépy, B. Uttaro, O. López-Campos, N. Prieto, M.E.R. Dugan, Y. Jin, M. Juárez. Effects of pork differentiation strategies in Canada on pig performance and carcass characteristics. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 2016, 96(4): 512-523, 10.1139/cjas-2015-0197.