Feed Additives for Swine - Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Publish Date: March 25, 2010
A major challenge in the pork industry is to produce lean pigs without compromising pork quality. Pork quality includes both lean (e.g. color, intramuscular fat, drip loss or purge) and fat (e.g. firmness, slice ability of bellies, flavor) quality of the meat products. One of the strongest determinants of carcass fat quality in pigs is the dietary lipid level and composition. Because the efficiency of utilization of dietary fat is very high (90%) in pigs and the transfer of dietary fat to carcass lipid is high (31-40%) [1,2], the carcass lipid composition is often a reflection of the dietary fat fed when pigs shift from de novo synthesis of fatty acids to dietary uptake. Dietary lipids may have different effects on carcass lipid depending on its composition, level, and duration or timing preslaughter during the grow-finish period. Understanding and managing the factors that control carcass fat quality is a challenge for swine producers given several feedstuffs may be very economical (e.g. DDGS), but may be detrimental to carcass fat quality. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid that may be one tool to help producers manage pork carcass quality. CLA refers to a group of linoleic acid (18:2) isomers that have several biological effects. When fed to finishing pigs, CLA has been reported to reduce backfat, improve feed conversion, carcass leanness, loin marbling, and carcass fat firmness.
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