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Portuguese Local Pig Breeds: Genotype Effects on Meat and Fat Quality Traits


Portuguese Local Pig Breeds: Genotype Effects on Meat and Fat Quality Traits



Animals: An Open Access Journal from Mdpi 10(5)



ISSN/ISBN: 2076-2615

PMID: 32456067

DOI: 10.3390/ani10050905

Simple Summary Local breeds are generally associated with slower growth rates, higher slaughter weights, and fatter carcasses due to genetic and rearing system characteristics. When compared to intensive pig production systems, those based on European local breeds generally provide a more favourable response to the required increase in the production of high-quality pork and pork products in sustainable chains, meeting consumer demands. Reducing costs and improving the economic viability of production systems while preserving the quality of the products obtained is of vital importance. In this work, we propose that Portuguese local pig production chains could improve their performance and productivity without compromising the quality of the final product by crossing local breeds instead of crossing with modern breeds. This could help to maintain or increase local breed populations, supporting conservation of animal biodiversity. This work investigated the contribution of cross-breeding between two local Portuguese pig breeds to the conservation of animal biodiversity and income of local pig producers. Quality traits of semimembranosus (SM), gluteus medius (GM) and dorsal subcutaneous fat (DSF) were studied in Alentejano (AL), Bisaro (BI), AL x BI, and BI x AL (Ribatejano-RI) castrated male pigs. Pigs were reared outdoors, fed ad libitum, and slaughtered at similar to 65 (trial 1) and 150 kg BW (trial 2). In trial 1, AL pigs showed higher SM intramuscular fat, lower total collagen, and higher soluble collagen than BI pigs, while AL x BI and BI x AL pigs showed intermediate (NS) values. AL, AL x BI, and BI x AL pigs showed higher SM myoglobin content, and AL a more intense red colour than BI pigs. Finally, AL, AL x BI, and BI x AL showed higher total lipids in DSF than BI pigs. In trial 2, SM and DSF results were similar to those obtained in trial 1. In GM, AL and BI x AL showed higher intramuscular fat than BI and AL x BI pigs, while AL, AL x BI and BI x AL showed lower total collagen content than BI pigs. In conclusion, these results suggest that RI crosses are a productive alternative, with overall muscle and DSF traits statistically not different between AL x BI and BI x AL, and similar to those observed in AL pigs.

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