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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Nonruminant Nutrition

A multivariate approach to determine the factors affecting response level of growth, carcass, and meat quality traits in finishing pigs fed ractopamine1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 95 No. 4, p. 1644-1659
    Received: Nov 04, 2016
    Accepted: Feb 12, 2017
    Published: April 13, 2017

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. M. A. Pompeu*,
  2. L. A. Rodrigues*,
  3. L. F. L. Cavalcanti,
  4. D. O. Fontes* and
  5. F. L. B. Toral 2*
  1. * Departamento de Zootecnia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG 31270-901, Brazil
     Intergado, Contagem, MG 32280-300, Brazil


The effect of ractopamine (RAC) supplementation on growth, carcass, and meat quality traits of finishing pigs was studied using a meta-analytical approach. The database was composed of 57 studies published from 2004 to 2016. The dependent variables extracted for the meta-analysis included final BW, ADG, ADFI, feed:gain ratio, HCW, dressing percentage, carcass length, lean yield, back fat thickness, loin muscle area, loin depth, postmortem pH, meat brightness, redness, and yellowness. The studies were grouped by similarity in 3 clusters (C1, C2, and C3) by hierarchical clustering on principle components. The main differences observed between clusters were those of animal initial weight, which increased from C1 through C3. Linear mixed models were used to analyze the data, where studies were assumed as random effect, whereas the total amount of RAC in the diet, cluster, and sex category were considered fixed effects. The interactions between cluster and sex category (barrows, gilts, and mixed sex) and RAC level were also evaluated. Dietary RAC was effective in improving final weight (P < 0.0001), ADG (P < 0.0001), and feed:gain ratio (P < 0.0001) and had a positive effect on HCW (P < 0.0001), lean yield (P = 0.0081), loin muscle area (P = 0.0190), and loin depth (P < 0.0001). In addition, a relatively limited effect on pork quality was observed in the current study. The RAC supplementation was more effective, mainly when pigs started supplementation with higher initial weight, although different responses were observed according to sex category (P < 0.05). There is ample indication that growth and carcass traits could be improved by dietary RAC supplementation. Ractopamine supplementation did not influence the pork quality.

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