August 27, 2008


Low birth weight found to have no effect on pork quality

Low birth weight in piglets will not have any effect on the final pork quality, according to a research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre in Canada.


The research suggests that while piglets with low birth weight will grow slower than larger piglets, the meat quality will be the same.


As litter size increases, average birth weight has declined and the number of low birth weight piglets are on the rise.


To assess the impact of litter size and birth weight on pork quality, scientists at the Prairie Swine Centre recorded the order of birth and birth weights of about 1,200 piglets. The piglets' performance through to slaughter was monitored and meat samples were tested for eating quality.


Research scientist Dr Denise Beaulieu said work done in Germany has displayed that low birth weight piglets have a different muscle fibre at birth and as a result, scientists wanted to determine what effect that difference would have on the eating quality of the pork.

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