Carcass Characteristics and Qualitative Attributes of Pork from Immunocastrated Animals

  • Received : 2013.03.19
  • Accepted : 2013.07.03
  • Published : 2013.11.01


An investigation was carried out to assess the carcass characteristics and meat quality aspects of immunocastrated male pigs of medium genetic potential for lean meat deposition in carcass (53 to 55%). When the crossbred Large White x Landrace pigs (n = 45) were 70 days old, they were distributed in a totally randomized design in three treatments (castrated males, females and immunocastrated males) with three replicates of five animals. The pigs were slaughtered when they were 140 days old. Carcass temperature and pH were recorded twice, at 45 min and 24 h after slaughter. The carcasses were evaluated for hot and cold carcass yield, commercial cuts yield, length and depth, back fat thickness, loin eye area and lean meat percentage. The Longissimus dorsi muscle was extracted for analysis of color ($L^*$, $a^*$, $b^*$), exudate loss, cooking loss and centesimal and sensorial analysis of the meat. There were no significant differences for the evaluated parameters between castrated males, immunocastrated males and females, except for backfat thickness between the 7th and 8th thoracic vertebra and the point P2 (lower for immunocastrated males) and carcass temperature at 45 min post slaughter (higher in immunocastrated males), however, this did not interfer with the rate of pH decrease post mortem and the meat quality. The results from this research did not indicate a benefit of immunocastration on carcass characteristics of pigs of medium genetic potential for lean meat deposition in carcass, when compared to surgical castration.


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