Meta-analysis of effects of gender in combination with carcass weight and breed on pork quality

L Trefan, A Doeschl-Wilson, J A Rooke, C Terlouw, L Bünger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Meta-analysis was carried out to quantify the effects of gender in combination with carcass weight and breed on pork quality. Altogether published results from 43 references were used. The traits analyzed were pH at 45 min (pH45min) and pH at 24 h (pH24hr) postmortem, the objective color attributes lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*) (CIE color system), color- and marbling scores, drip loss, intramuscular fat content (IMF), backfat thickness (P2) as well as sensory scores of juiciness and tenderness. Data for two muscle types LM and M. semimembranosus (SMM) were used for the analysis. Swine genders were defined as intact/entire male (EM), surgically castrated male (SM) immunocastrated male (IM) and entire female (EF). After standardization of scaled traits (color-, marbling scores, juiciness, tenderness) and accounting for cold carcass weight (CW) statistical analysis was carried out using mixed models where breed was included as random effect. The analysis found a general effect of gender on each trait and multiple comparisons identified significant differences between the individual genders for L* (lightness), marbling scores, IMF, P2 in LM and pH24hr in SMM. For these traits, when genders were grouped into gender categories as 'castrates' (IM, SM) and 'natural genders' (EM, EF) significant differences were found between estimates related to these categories. Furthermore significant differences were found between 'castrates' and individual gender types, indicating that castrated animals statistically segregated regarding their pork quality and regardless of the type of castration. Pork of SM/EM animals has been found to be the fattest/leanest and there is indication that IM pork has the lightest meat color. Carcass weight dependence was found to be non linear (quadratic) for a*, P2 and marbling scores and linear for b* and color scores in LM and pH24hr in SMM. The analysis identified significant breed effects for all traits, with large variation in the actual magnitudes (∼10-100%) of breed effects between individual traits. The established CW dependencies of pork quality traits in combination with the other influencing factors investigated here provides pork producers with the opportunity to achieve desired pork quality targets for a wide range of CW (∼30-150kg) under standard indoor rearing conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1480-1492
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number3
Early online date7 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Male
  • Meat/standards
  • Muscle, Skeletal/physiology
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sus scrofa/growth & development
  • Sus scrofa/physiology
  • Time Factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Meta-analysis of effects of gender in combination with carcass weight and breed on pork quality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this