Effect of breed on performance and meat quality of first parity sows in a seasonal organic rearing system



BACKGROUND: The objective was to compare the performance and meat quality of two different pig breeds: the modern crossbred Landrace × Yorkshire (LY) and the traditional Danish Black-Spotted (BS) breed. The LY gilts and four of the BS gilts were inseminated with semen from Duroc (D) boars; the remaining BS gilts were served by BS boars. The experiment was performed on 26 gilts over 2 years.

RESULTS: The BS breed in general had smaller litter sizes and weaned on average in terms of kg piglet 35% less than the modern breed combination. Crossbred piglets of BS × D had growth rates from birth to weaning comparable with piglets of LY × D. BS first parity sows were significantly fatter and less meaty, and the meat was significantly redder and darker compared to LY. The sensory profiling revealed increased sweetness, crumbliness and tenderness in BS. Further, the fat of the BS breed seemed to be characterized by a special nutty taste.

CONCLUSION: The traditional breed has lower productivity and thereby higher costs of production compared to the modern genotypes. On the other hand, the meat and fat of the traditional purebred have special characteristics that might trigger a market premium. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry