Evaluation of the Effects of Dietary Fat, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, and Ractopamine on the Fatty Acid Profiles of Fat and Muscle Tissue of Lean Gilts

Feeding diets containing conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been shown to increase feed efficiency, carcass leanness (Dugan et al., 1997), and belly firmness (Eggert et al., 2001). Additionally, feeding CLA increases the saturated fatty acid content of bellies and loins of finishing pigs (Eggert et al., 2001), which may be the mechanism by which CLA enhances belly firmness. Adding rendered animal fats to diets has long been known to enhance the feed efficiency of growing and finishing pigs, and it is a well known phenomenon that the fatty acid composition of the pigs fat tissues reflects the fatty acid composition of the diet consumed. Adding ractopamine to finishing swine diets leads to an increase in growth performance, carcass lean, and carcass yield (Herr et al., 2001). However, there is little data as to the effects of ractopamine on the fatty acid profiles of pigs. The objective of this study was to determine the interactive and combined effects of CLA, dietary fat, and ractopamine on the fatty acid profiles of tisues from genetically lean gilts. The performance and carcass data from this experiment were previously presented (Weber et al., 2001).