Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ractopamine is safe for use in Brazilian pork

25.01.2013
Feed additive has no affect on meat quality or taste

Animal scientists in Brazil have found that a small dose of the feed additive ractopamine can boost pork production without changing how pork looks or tastes.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Animal Science, researchers report that a 5 mg/kg dose of ractopamine increased muscle mass and feed efficiency, and had no noticeable effect on pork marbling, fat content, toughness or color. The researchers came to this conclusion by testing pork from 340 pigs raised under commercial conditions.

"We found that if [pork producers] use 5 mg/kg of ractopamine in the finishing diet of swine that should result in no detrimental effects on fresh pork quality and cooked pork palatability," said Natália Bortoleto Athayde, an animal scientist at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.

Ractopamine is a common feed additive in Brazilian and U.S. pork production. The additive increases the size of muscle fibers by increasing protein synthesis in muscle cells. Many pork producers use ractopamine because it allows pigs to grow larger with less feed.

However, some scientists have reported reduced pork quality with higher doses of ractopamine. To test this finding, Athayde and other researchers split a herd of pigs into three groups and gave them 0, 5 or 10 mg/kg of ractopamine during the last 28 days before slaughter. They then slaughtered the pigs and tested the pork pH, temperature, color, drip loss, marbling, intramuscular fat, cooking loss and tenderness. According to Athayde, analyzing meat color is important because meat color changes can be a sign of stress in an animal.

The researchers found that though 5 mg/kg had no noticeable effects, pork from the 10 mg/kg pigs was lighter and less tender than pork from control group pigs. Athayde said this confirms previous studies showing that 5 mg/kg is an appropriate dose in Brazilian commercial pork production.

"Pork is the most animal protein consumed in the world, and Brazil is currently the fourth largest producer of this meat," said Athayde. "We export about 15 percent of pork we produce and we believe it is extremely important to know the quality of the meat that we offer to the world."

Athayde recommends further studies of how ractopamine affects animal behavior, consumer health and the environment.

This paper is titled "Meat quality of swine supplemented with ractopamine under commercial conditions." It can be read in full at journalofanimalscience.org.

Media Contact:

Madeline McCurry-Schmidt
American Society of Animal Science
Scientific Communications Associate
217-689-2435 / madelinems@asas.org

Madeline McCurry-Schmidt | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asas.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Water, water -- not everywhere: Mapping water trends for African maize
22.07.2014 | Princeton University

nachricht AgriLife Research study identifies contributing factors to groundwater table declines
14.07.2014 | Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

9th European Wood-Based Panel Symposium 2014 – meeting point for the wood-based material branch

24.07.2014 | Event News

“Lens on Life” - Artists and Scientists Explore Cell Divison

08.07.2014 | Event News

First International Conference on Consumer Research | ICCR 2014: Early bird deadline July 31, 2014

08.07.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Parched West is using up underground water, UCI, NASA find

25.07.2014 | Earth Sciences

ORNL study reveals new characteristics of complex oxide surfaces

25.07.2014 | Materials Sciences

New mass map of a distant galaxy cluster is the most precise yet

25.07.2014 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>