Moringa oleifera leaves have been reported to be rich in protein, with a suitable amino acid composition for animal nutrition. Furthermore, moringa leaves contain negligible amounts of anti-nutritional factors and substantial amounts of Fe and vitamins A, B and C. Moreover, intensive farming conditions have recently generated the need to use the large amount of protein-rich moringa produced. Although assessing the effect of moringa leaf meal in the diets of pigs have been focused on growth performance, limited research has been done regarding the effect of moringa leaf meal on pork quality and nutrient composition. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to assess the effects of dietary moringa leaf meal supplementation on growth performance, pork quality, fatty acid composition, and amino acid profiles in finishing pigs. For that purpose, a total of 144 cross-bred (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire) female finishing pigs (65.4 ± 1.03 kg) were used. The animals were randomly allotted to one of four treatments: (1) control diet (M0 or control), (2) diet containing 3% moringa leaf meal (M3), (3) diet containing 6% moringa leaf meal (M6), and (4) diet containing 9% moringa leaf meal (M9). Individual BW was measured at the beginning and at the end of the study, whereas feed allotments were recorded daily. ADFI and ADG were calculated for the entire experimental period. At the end of the growth trial, 6 pigs from each treatment were randomly selected and slaughtered for carcass composition and meat quality analysis.
As a result, supplementing moringa leaf meal significantly increased the ADG of finishing pigs, but had a minor impact on pork quality indicators and the amino acid profile in the Longissimus dorsi. Regarding the fatty acid profile, the relative percentage of unsaturated fatty acids was higher in the meat of pigs fed the M6 diet than in the control pigs’ meat. In contrast, the percentage of saturated fatty acids was lower in the moringa leaf meal fed pigs. Moreover, the omega-6/omega-3 ratio decreased with moringa leaf meal supplementation.
In conclusion, the dietary addition of moringa leaf meal improved growth performance and positively modified pork fatty acid profile. These results suggest that Moringa oleifera leaves could be used as a feed supplement for producing healthier pork.
Zhang, T., Si, B., Tu, Y., Cui, K., Zhou, C., and Diao, Q. (2019). Effect of including different levels of moringa (Moringa oleifera) leaf meal in the diet of finishing pigs: Performance, pork quality, fatty acid composition, and amino acid profile. Czech Journal of Animal Science, 64(3), 141-149. https://doi.org/10.17221/204/2018-CJAS