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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Characteristics and quality of pig adipose tissues. Influence of rearing factors

INRA Prod. Anim., 11(2), 131-143.


INRA Station de Recherches Porcines, 35590 Saint-Gilles


In pig production, genetic selection and rearing conditions have greatly improved body composition towards a higher lean meat content and a lower fat deposition. However, a degradation of adipose tissue quality has been observed. Because fat tissue quality can hardly be improved by technological processing, it depends strongly on adipose tissue characteristics at slaughter, which are influenced by rearing and genetic factors.

Nutritional, sensory and technological fat qualities are determined by tissue chemical composition : lipid and water contents, characteristics of connective tissue, and fatty acid composition. Therefore, any intrinsic or extrinsic factor that alters the composition of adipose tissues influences fat quality. Thus, anatomical location, carcass fatness, sex, feeding level, fatty acid composition of the diet, supplementation with vitamin E or minerals, growth promotants (pST, beta-agonists), and environmental temperature have been shown to influence fatty tissue traits.

Effects of rearing factors on composition and quality of pig adipose tissue are now well established. Thus, control of pig fat quality is now attainable, and depends mainly on the relative importance given to quality in the overall cost of pig production.

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