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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Development of subcutaneous and intramuscular adipose tissue and quantitative and qualitative factors of variation in the pig

INRA Prod. Anim., 14(5), 355-363.


INRA, Unité Mixte de Recherche sur le Veau et le Porc, 35590 St-Gilles


The choice of the fat matter in pig feeding is especially important. A relation exists between the dietary fatty acids and those that are stored in the adipose tissue and in the muscle. This choice influences meat quality. Some recent studies showed an important role of the rate and source of the fatty acid diet on the setting up and the adipose tissue development in the fœtus during pregnancy.

In sows, the dietary lipid rate increases the adiposity of the carcass in the piglet at birth and stimulates the proliferation of adipocyte precursors that, thereafter, will give adipocytes. An excessive rate of lipid diet during pregnancy can therefore lead to a more elevated adiposity in the pig.

The source of the fatty acids also influences these same parameters. Coconut oil, compared with sunflower oil and lard seems to stimulate proliferation of adipocytes with consequences on the future obesity of pigs. However, a restricted feeding in growing pigs seems to minimise these consequences.

In growing pigs, the increase of the dietary lipid rate seems to stimulate the lipid content of adipose tissues. An unsaturated fat matter, particularly high in linoleic acid, stimulates the potential of lipid synthesis and can therefore increase the adiposity of the carcass. These unsaturated fat matters also have consequences on the technological quality of the adipose tissue ; we recommend a reasonable utilisation during growth and if possible, to avoid them after 70 kg for a slaughtering at 105-110 kg.

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