N-3 enrichment of pork with fishmeal: Effects on production and consumer acceptability



This study aimed to develop pork products of acceptable organoleptic quality enriched with long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA). Female pigs were fed a finisher diet containing 15% PorcOmega™ tuna fishmeal or a commercial diet. Pigs and rations were weighed weekly. The feed conversion ratio was significantly lower in pigs fed fishmeal than in controls (2.61 ± 0.01 versus 2.96 ± 0.06, p <0.05). After 6 weeks, the pigs were butchered and the fatty acid contents of selected pork products were analyzed by gas chromatography. Shelf life was tested by thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), initially and after 5 days of cold storage, and sensory qualities were evaluated after cooking. LC n-3 PUFA contents of pork products from pigs fed fishmeal were higher than in controls (steak 300%, stir-fry 250%, diced 520%, mince 480%, sausage 360%; p <0.05 in all cases). There were no differences between n-3-enriched and regular pork in either TBARS content of stored raw products or sensory characteristics after cooking. Incorporating fishmeal in the finisher diet resulted in greater feed efficiency and production of nutritionally enhanced pork products with organoleptic profiles and stability comparable to those of regular pork.