Date Full Report Received05/28/2005
Date Abstract Report Received05/28/2005
InvestigationInstitution: Iowa Pork Industry Center, Iowa State University
Primary Investigator: Tom Baas
Co-Investigators: Clint Schwab, Doug Newcom, Ken Stalder
Funded ByIowa Pork Producers Association
In order to remain competitive in the future, it is important that pork producers develop a way to differentiate their product. Fresh pork quality is continuing to become increasingly important and has received more attention as producers and processors try to meet consumer demand for high quality, nutritious products. Overcoming the issue of poor pork quality is an avenue that will enable producers to improve consumer acceptance of pork. By quantifying the effect that long-term intensive selection for increased carcass leanness has had on meat quality characteristics, we may begin to identify opportunities for producers to add value to the pork products they produce. Results from this study have illustrated that growth patterns and deposition rates of ultrasonically measured 10th rib backfat, loin muscle area, and intramuscular fat percentage have not been significantly affected by long-term selection for increased carcass leanness. However, significant progress toward the enhancement of carcass composition has been realized within the Duroc breed since the mid 1980’s. Unfortunately, this increased carcass leanness over time has been at the expense of meat quality traits, namely intramuscular fat percentage, tenderness, and color, as well as eating quality traits such as flavor score. Identification of genetic lines that are available via frozen semen which have superior meat quality attributes and maintain adequate growth and carcass composition is facilitated with this study. Utilization of genetic lines offering superior meat quality may be utilized to diversify pork products when pursuing niche markets involving enhanced meat quality. This study also demonstrated that it is feasible to utilize genetic archives developed by seedstock producers and boar studs. Ultimately, findings of this study should enable packers and processors to further understand the long-term ramifications of grid-based pricing of hogs when little or no emphasis on meat quality is applied.