Physical and chemical characteristics of the longissimus dorsi from swine reared in climate-controlled and uncontrolled environments
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of ambient temperature on the physical and chemical characteristics of the longissimus dorsi muscle by comparing the quality of meat from pigs reared in a controlled and in an uncontrolled environment, the latter provided with a shallow pool. Twenty castrated male pigs of the Topigs line were randomly allotted to two treatments: a controlled environment, with constant temperature (22 °C) and relative humidity (70%); and an uncontrolled environment in a conventional shed for rearing pigs equipped with a shallow pool, where pigs were subject to climatic variations. Meat from pigs kept in the controlled environment showed a greater capacity to retain intracellular water, higher tenderness, and lower cholesterol levels than meat from pigs reared in the uncontrolled environment, but displayed higher lipid oxidation and a lower concentration of DHA. Treatments had no effect on color, pH, chemical composition, or fatty acid profile (except DHA concentration). Rearing pigs in sheds equipped with a shallow pool minimizes the effects of environmental heat on meat quality, allowing the production of high-quality meat in warm climate regions without expensive investments. Animals reared in an uncontrolled environment equipped with a shallow pool are able to produce meat with characteristics within the quality standards and with similar quality to that of meat from animals raised in controlled environment.
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