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News 460 views last update:Aug 27, 2008

Low birth weight - no effect on pork quality

It has been reported that despite a low birth weight in piglets, the final pork quality in unaffected.

Research conducted by the Prairie Swine Centre in Canada suggests that while small birth weight piglets will grow slower than larger litter mates, the quality of the meat they produce will be the same.
 
As litter size has become larger, average birth weight has become smaller and the number of small birth weight piglets has been on the increase.
 
Hundreds of piglets monitored
According to reports, to assess the impact of litter size and birth weight on the eating quality of the pork, scientists at the Prairie Swine Centre recorded the order of birth and the birth weights of about 12 hundred piglets.
 
Eating quality
The scientists monitored the piglets' performance through to slaughter and had the meat from a representative sample tested for eating quality.

Dr Denise Beaulieu, research scientist, has stated that work done in Germany has displayed that very small birth weight piglets have a different kind of muscle fibre at birth. Because of this scientists wanted to determine what effect that difference would have on the eating quality of the pork.
 
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