Improving Bacon Quality In Lean Genotype Swine – Effects Of Dietary Fat And Supplemental CLA

North Carolina State University Pork Quality Research from 2002. Nutrition, genetics, management and pork processing techniques influence belly quality. Slicing of pork bellies for bacon can be hindered if the belly is thin or has soft fat composition. Combining extreme leanness in the pig with diets composed of cereal grains and supplemented with soft fat that is often high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in order to maximize growfinish performance and efficiency can result in soft fat composition. Tallow has a lower linoleic acid content compared to higher IV fats (ex. choice white grease) which can improve fat firmness. Other researchers have recently shown that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has similar effects on pork fat quality. Our data show that tallow and conjugated linoleic acid will significantly reduce the iodine value (IV) of belly fat and have an additive effect when supplemented together. This combination can enhance the value of tallow as a fat source. We did not detect any negative effects of tallow or CLA supplementation on growth, feed intake, feed efficiency or carcass quality. Both tallow and CLA addition increased the saturation of belly fat and when supplemented together resulted in a reduction of the IV to 62.