Muscle fat content and fatty acid composition are associated with intrinsic meat quality. Pioglitazone hydrochloride (PGZ) is a new type of insulin sensitizer that has been reported to affect blood glucose levels and fat deposition, increasing intramuscular fat (IMF) in the Longissimus thoracis and the marbling score in finishing pigs. However, effects of PGZ on muscle fatty acid composition in pork have not been reported. For the present study, it was hypothesized that feeding PGZ could increase IMF in pork and that Vitamin E (VE) supplementation would compensate oxidative stability, which may result from changes in fatty acid composition. For this purpose, a total of 160 Duroc × Landrace × Large White pigs (75.53 ± 0.04 kg) were randomly divided into a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with 2 supplemental levels of PGZ (0 or 15 mg/kg) and 2 supplemental levels of VE (0 or 325 mg/kg) in basal dietary (containing 75 mg/kg VE). The four treatments included: control (fed a basal dietary containing 75 mg/kg VE), PGZ (fed a basal dietary and 15 mg/kg PGZ), VE (fed a basal dietary and 325 mg/kg VE), and PGZ+VE (fed a basal dietary and 15 mg/kg PGZ and 325 mg/kg VE). Pigs were fed with the experimental diets for 28 days and were afterwards sent to slaughter, where performance and meat quality were evaluated.
Dietary treatment had no effect on ADFI, ADG or FCR of finishing pigs; however, feeding PGZ increased intramuscular fat and VE supplementation decreased cooking loss. Feeding VE increased total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), both for C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3. For 18:3n-3, the increase due to VE was accentuated when combined with PGZ. Additionally, VE tended to increase superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity, both indicators of the muscle antioxidant status.
In conclusion, PGZ and VE had positive effects on pork quality by decreasing cooking loss and increasing intramuscular fat and antioxidant capacity. Feeding PGZ and VE may therefore have positive effects on pork quality, and may prove useful in improving the healthfulness of fatty acid profiles.
Jin, C. L., Gao, C. Q., Wang, Q., Zhang, Z. M., Xu, Y. L., Li, H. C., Yan, H. C., and Wang, X. Q. Effects of pioglitazone hydrochloride and vitamin E on meat quality, antioxidant status and fatty acid profiles in finishing pigs. Meat science 145 (2018): 340-346. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2018.07.008