Relationships between biochemical characteristics and meat quality of Longissimus thoracis and Semimembranosus muscles in five porcine lines

Marta Gil, Margaret I. Delday, Marina Gispert, Maria Font i Furnols, Charlotte M. Maltin, Graham S. Plastow, Ronald Klont, Andrzej A. Sosnicki, Domingo Carrion

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54 Citations (Scopus)


Five porcine genetic lines which represent a high proportion of European pig production were fully characterized for meat quality parameters and muscle biochemical characteristics (Longissimus thoracis, LT, and Semimembranosus, SM). The line characterisation was based on 100 animals each representing Large White, Landrace, Duroc, Pietrain (Halothane negative) and Meishan (a Meishan/Large White crossbred line) prevalent genetic backgrounds. Different meat quality parameters (pH 45 min, pH ultimate, electrical conductivity, and colour measurements), as well as muscle water holding capacity, muscle metabolic and contractile traits, fibre type, size and frequencies were measured and their relationships studied. The main differences in the LT were found between the Meishan and Pietrain genetic lines, in relation to the muscle fibre size (larger in Pietrain). The Duroc line was characterized by the muscle oxidative traits and the Landrace by the high percentage of fast glycolytic fibres. In SM, Duroc and Pietrain were distinguished from Landrace and Meishan according to the metabolic and contractile characteristics of this muscle. Large White tended to lie between the other breeds for many of the traits. The measured muscle characteristics were related to differences in drip loss and marbling values and could thereby influence the eating quality of pork. Overall the results show differences between the genetic lines for a number of muscle traits which could have impact on consumer appeal and eating quality. The present findings should serve to emphasise the importance of including eating quality as a trait in breed selection. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-933
Number of pages7
JournalMeat Science
Issue number3
Early online date23 Apr 2008
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


  • pig genetics
  • meat quality
  • muscle fibre composition
  • myosin heavy-chain
  • fiber characteristics
  • histochemical-characteristics
  • skeletal muscles
  • genetic types
  • dorsi muscle
  • large white
  • sire lines
  • pigs
  • carcass
  • Pig genetics
  • Meat quality
  • Muscle fibre composition


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