Evaluating Growth and Carcass Characteristics of Barrows Fed a Triglyceride Form of Conjugated Linoleic Acid

Purdue University 2003 Swine Research Report. One of the most interesting polyunsaturated fatty acids to gain attention in recent years is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA was first recognized as an anticarcinogen after being isolated from extracts of grilled ground beef which exhibited anticarcinogenic activity against chemically induced mouse skin cancer (Ha et al., 1987). CLA occurs naturally and is reported to have significant biological effects. In a pig feeding trial, Eggert et al. (2001) showed that gilts fed a free fatty acid form of CLA had depressed average daily gain, but noted no difference in feed consumption. Eggert et al. (2001) also noted that bellies of gilts fed CLA were firmer compared to those fed sunflower oil. In past studies, CLA was presented as a free fatty acid; that is, the individual fatty acids were not linked to a glycerol molecule. Grosch and Laskawy (1984) demonstrated that high levels of linoleic acid in the free fatty acid form are associated with a “burning-bitter” sensation. Eggert et al. (2001) observed that average daily gain was depressed, with no statistical differences in intake, although numerical trends were apparent. Similarly, Latour et al. (2000) demonstrated that rats consumed less CLA in a free fatty acid form and consequently grew at a much slower rate when compared to rats consuming a triglyceride form of CLA. The triglyceride form of CLA used in the Latour et al. (2000) study, was obtained from swine fat, where the animals had consumed a free fatty acid form of CLA. The purpose of this study was to investigate the growth potential and carcass characteristics of barrows fed a triglyceride form of CLA during the last 6 weeks of production.