Fattening Cinta Senese pigs with chestnuts: effect on meat and fat characteristics
The aim of this trial was to identify the effect of feeding pigs chestnut on some meat and fat characteristics. Thirty-three Cinta Senese pigs were reared indoors and allotted into three groups. One group was fed only commercial feed (0-CH); the other two groups were fed chestnut for one (1-CH) and three (3-CH) months before slaughtering. The chestnut diet contained a minimal supplement of bran. Pigs were slaughtered at 130 kg of live weight, on average. Regarding carcass characteristics, the only parameter affected by the diet was pH24 where the 1 -CH group showed the lowest value. Also in sample joint dissection, a rare effect of diet was found; the only significant difference among groups was in intermuscular fat content, which was highest in the 1-CH group. There was a strong effect of diet on the colour parameters of Longissimus lumborum: the chestnut diet led to more coloured meat, due to higher L*, a* and b* values in the 1-CH and 3-CH groups. A negative effect of chestnut on meat quality traits was found: the 3-CH group showed the highest values of drip loss, cooking loss and WB on raw meat. As for fatty acid composition, the animals fed chestnut throughout the fattening period showed the highest level of unsaturation due to the highest percentage of mono-unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). The 1-CH group was in an intermediate position for all unsaturated fatty acids detected.
KeywordsCinta Senese chestnut meat quality fatty acid
We would like to thank ‘Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze’ for providing financial support for the SAS licence and the managerial and technical staff of the Corpo Forestale dello Stato (ex- ASFD administration) of Siena. This study was supported by a grant from PRIN-MIUR prot. 2005077118_001.
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