Backfat Characteristics of Barrows and Gilts Fed on Tuna Oil Supplemented Diets during the Growing-finishing Periods

  • Jaturasitha, S. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Srikanchai, T. (Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Chiang Mai University) ;
  • Chakeredza, S. (ICRAF, World Agroforestry Centre) ;
  • ter Meulen, U. (Institute for Animal Physiology and Nutrition. Section: Animal Nutrition in the Tropics, Georg-August University of Gottingen) ;
  • Wicke, M. (Institute of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Georg-August University of Gottingen)
  • Received : 2007.08.14
  • Accepted : 2008.02.06
  • Published : 2008.08.01


This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of supplementing tuna oil to diets of growing-finishing pigs (barrows and gilts) on backfat characteristics when slaughtered at different weights. Four hundred and eighty crossbred (Large White$\times$Landrace$\times$Duroc) pigs averaging 30 kg were allotted to 12 treatment combinations (40 pigs/treatment combination) in a completely randomized design with a $2{\times}2{\times}3$ factorial arrangement of treatments. The treatments were: dietary tuna oil supplementation (0 and 2%); sex (barrows and gilts); and slaughter weight (90, 100 and 110 kg). As pigs reached their slaughter weight, they were randomly selected (8 pigs/treatment combination; 96 pigs in total) and slaughtered. Backfat colour, hardness and fatty acid profile were assessed. There were significant (p<0.05) differences in colour (L* and a* values) among treatments. Backfat of the control group was harder than on the tuna oil (p<0.001) and that of barrows was harder than of gilts (p<0.05). In addition, the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) values of fat from the tuna oil group stored for 3 days were higher (p<0.001) than the control group. The TBARS values of gilts tended to be higher than those of barrows and increased with increasing slaughter weight in the tuna oil group. The cholesterol and triglyceride levels were not affected by diet and sex but the triglyceride level increased with increasing slaughter weight (p<0.01). The tuna oil group had higher polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content, ratio of PUFA: saturated fatty acid (SFA) and total n-3 fatty acids but lower monounsaturated fatty acids content and n-6:n-3 fatty acids than the control group (p<0.01). Gilts had higher PUFA and n-6 fatty acids in backfat than barrows (p<0.05). The backfat from both 90 and 100 kg slaughter-weight groups had a lower ratio of n6:n3 fatty acid than the 110 kg slaughter-weight group (p<0.05). However, this was more pronounced in the tuna oil group. The PUFA: SFA was also increased while the n-6:n-3 ratio tended to reach the recommended levels for healthy eating in human beings of <5. However, due to oxidative susceptibility, barrows should not be slaughtered at more than 100 kg for the meat to be acceptable to consumers.


Supported by : Thailand Research Fund (TRF)


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