Effects of Transport on Meat Quality of Pigs07 June 2014
A Canadian study indicates that the adverse effects of prolonged transport and low temperatures on meat quality can be aggravated by the location of the pig in the transport vehicle. Skin bruises were more prevalent in the winter than the summer.
The effects of transport time and location within the truck on skin bruises and meat quality of market weight pigs in two seasons were investigated by researchers in Canada.
In a paper in Canadian Journal of Animal Science, first-named author M.B. Scheeren of the Prairie Swine Centre and co-authors explain that they evaluated skin bruise score and meat quality in 384 pigs distributed across the top front (C1), top back (C4), middle front (C5) and bottom rear (C10) compartments of the truck. They evaluated the effects of season (winter versus summer), transport time (T: six, 12 and 18 hours) and truck compartment (C).
Bruise score was higher (P=0.01) in winter than in summer.
A T×C interaction was found for pHu value in the longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle and for drip loss in the LT and semimembranosus (SM) muscles; higher (P<0.001) pHu was recorded in the LT muscle and lower drip loss in the LT and SM muscles (P<0.001 and P=0.01, respectively) of pigs located in C10 following 18 hours of transport.
In summer, higher (P=0.03) pHu values were found in the LT muscle of pigs transported in C4 and lower drip loss in the LT and SM muscles (P=0.04 and P=0.03, respectively) of pigs located in C10.
The results of this study suggest that, while skin bruises are only affected by season, the effects of longer transport time and winter temperatures on meat quality can be aggravated by the compartment location, concluded Scheeren and co-authors.
Scheeren M.B., H.W. Gonyou, J. Brown, A.V. Weschenfelder and L. Faucitano. 2014. Effects of transport time and location within truck on skin bruises and meat quality of market weight pigs in two seasons. Canadian Journal of Animal Science. 94(1):71-78, 10.4141/cjas2013-136
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