Relationships of Muscle Fiber Characteristics to Dietary Energy Density, Slaughter Weight, and Muscle Quality Traits in Finishing Pigs

  • Jeong, Jin-Yeon (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Program), Institute of Agriculture & Life Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Kim, Gap-Don (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Program), Institute of Agriculture & Life Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Ha, Duck-Min (Regional Animal Industry Center, Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology) ;
  • Park, Man-Jong (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Program), Institute of Agriculture & Life Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Park, Byung-Chul (Sunjin Co., Ltd.) ;
  • Joo, Seon-Tea (Division of Applied Life Science (BK21 Program), Institute of Agriculture & Life Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Lee, C.-Young (Regional Animal Industry Center, Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology)
  • Received : 2012.05.22
  • Accepted : 2012.06.12
  • Published : 2012.06.30


The present study was conducted to investigate the relationships of muscle fiber characteristics to dietary energy density [3.0(Low-E) vs. 3.2 (Med-E) Mcal DE/kg)] and slaughter weight [SW; 110, 125, and 138 kg] in finishing pigs (gilt vs. barrow) using a $2{\times}3{\times}2$ factorial treatment design. Forty-one longissimus dorsi muscle (LM) samples were analyzed histochemically, with growth performance and physicochemical data for the 41 animals and their LM out of 192 animals and 72 LM used in a previous study retrospectively included. The ADG was less (P<0.01) in the Low-E than in the Med-E group (0.93 vs. 0.73 kg) whereas lightness ($L^*$) and redness ($a^*$) of LM were greater in the Low-E group SW did not influence these variables. The diameter and perimeter of the type I (slow-oxidative), type IIA (fast oxido-glycolytic) and type IIB (fast glycolytic) fibers increased with increasing SW whereas densities of the fibers decreased. However, the number and area percentages of the fiber types were not influenced by SW or dietary energy density. The percentage and per-$mm^2$ density of type IIB fibers were negatively correlated with SW (r = -0.33 and -0.57, with P<0.05 and <0.01, respectively), whereas type I fiber number percentage was positively correlated with SW (r = 0.31; P<0.05). Marbling score was negatively correlated (P<0.05) with type I (r = -0.36) and type IIB (r = -0.39) fiber densities. The $a^*$ was correlated (P<0.01) with both type I and type IIB fiber number percentages in the opposite way (r = 0.42 and -0.47, respectively). However, $L^*$ (lightness), drip loss and $pH_{24h}$ were not correlated with the fiber number percentage or density of any fiber type. Collectively, results indicate that muscle fibers grow by hypertrophy during the late finishing period, but that fiber characteristics other than the size are not significantly influenced by dietary energy density or SW.


Finishing pig;Slaughter weight;Diet;Muscle fiber;Meat quality


Supported by : Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology


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