Effects of ractopamine hydrochloride and immunological castration in pigs. Part 2: Belly quality characteristics and fatty acid composition
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The effects of immunocastration and ractopamine in the diet on the belly quality were investigated from two crossbred pigs under different conditions of production, diet, management, and slaughter arranged in factorial design using two levels of addition of ractopamine in the diet, 0 and 7.5 ppm, and three genders (gilts, immunocastrated and barrows). The quality of bellies were analyzed for chemical composition, pH, meat and fat color, backfat thickness and fatty acid profile of the fat. The addition of ractopamine showed no significant influence on pH, color and chemical composition in two crossbred pigs. The immunocastrated had thicker belly backfat compared to the bellies of the gilts. The contents of fatty acids polyunsaturated, linoleic, linoleic, arachidonic, total omega 3 and omega 6 were higher for immunocastrated pigs, as well as presenting values greater than 0.4 for the PUFA:SFA ratio, thus, providing bellies with better nutritional quality. The bellies of the gilts and immunocastrated pigs had higher concentrations of iodine value, indicative of higher unsaturated fat content. The results indicated that the addition of ractopamine and immunocastration had little influence on the quality of bellies as well as in their fatty acid profiles, suggesting the continuity of implementation of these techniques.