Possible Muscle Fiber Characteristics in the Selection for Improvement in Porcine Lean Meat Production and Quality

  • Kim, J.M. (Division of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University) ;
  • Lee, Y.J. (Division of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University) ;
  • Choi, Y.M. (Division of Food Bioscience and Technology, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University) ;
  • Kim, B.C. (Division of Food Bioscience and Technology, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University) ;
  • Yoo, B.H. (Sangwon Pig Development Company) ;
  • Hong, K.C. (Division of Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University)
  • Received : 2008.01.21
  • Accepted : 2008.05.10
  • Published : 2008.10.01


The aim of this study was directed at exploring the possible use of muscle fiber characteristics as new selection traits for improving both porcine lean meat production and quality. A total of 174 (114 Yorkshire, 30 Landrace, and 30 Meishan) pigs were used for this study, and lean meat production ability was estimated by backfat thickness and loin eye area. The Longissimus dorsi muscle was taken in order to measure meat quality and muscle fiber characteristics. Due to the high correlations between total muscle fiber number and most of the performance traits, all pigs were classified into three groups (low, intermediate, or high) by total muscle fiber number using cluster analysis. The high group had the highest loin eye area (p<0.001). The meat quality traits were within normal ranges as reddish pink, firm, and nonexudative (RFN) pork, but the groups classified as intermediate and high had relatively large drip loss percentages (p<0.05), produced more than twice the amount of pale, soft, and exudative (PSE) pork as compared to the low group. The group with a high total muscle fiber number was further classified, based on type 2b fiber percentage, into low or high groups by cluster analysis. The results showed that the low type 2b fiber group had good loin eye area (p<0.05), small drip loss (p<0.05), and did not produce PSE pork. For these reasons, a high total muscle fiber number, with a low percentage of type 2b fibers, may be suitable in selecting for improvements in both lean meat production and meat quality.


Supported by : Korea University


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