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Effect of slaughter weight on carcass quality traits of Alentejano pig breed


“Alentejano” pig breed is an autochthonous Mediterranean breed traditionally reared under extensive conditions. This pig inhabit populate the southeast region of Portugal (Alentejo) integrating the agrosylvopastoral ecosystem named “montado”. In the montado there is a prodominance of oak-dominated forest and grassland. Traditional swine prodution system was characterized by a long growing period with nutritional insufficient requirement supply, which could limiting the potential growth, and a fattening period during the Autumn under oak forest grazing acorns and grass (“montanheira”) an highly energetic diet. At the end of its production cycle pigs were slaughtered with 18 - 24 months aged and weights between 120 and 160 kg LW. The fattening period in “montanheira” originated carcasses too fat with low meat percentage (ALMEIDA et al., 1993; NUNES, 1993). This kind of carcass is considered the best for manufactured dry cured products and was during decades the main source of fresh meat in the diet of the people living in this region. Considering the volume and the increase of fresh pig meat consumption in Portugal the farmers forward increase their production for this market, almost dominated by the meat from precocious pig breeds reared in the
intensive production system. Based on high organolpetic quality, pork from Alentejano’s hogs could an effective alternative for meat. However, carcass has too many fat and a bad proportion of lean cuts which difficult the economic rentability for production system. The aim of this work was to investigate what will be the best slaughter weight for hog’s in order to improve the percentage of lean meat as well as, to find physical measures of loin muscle and back fat that allowed us to predicted the proportion of the lean cuts.

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Neves, J.; Freitas, A.; Charneca, R.; Nunes, J. (2003). Effect of slaughter weight on carcass quality traits of Alentejano pig breed. 49 th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology, pp. 343-344. Universidade Estadual de Campinas / ICoMST. Campinas, Brasil.