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The production of the heavy pig for high quality processed products

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Author(s): Paolo Bosi | Vincenzo Russo

Journal: Italian Journal of Animal Science
ISSN 1594-4077

Volume: 3;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 309;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Pig feeding | Carcass quality | Ham quality | Fat quality | Ham processing

ABSTRACT
The review discusses the topics presented below, with experimental data and more evidence for some aspects which areproblematic for the pig producer. To obtain high quality processed pig products, heavy pig production in Italy is subjectedto rules fixed by several Consortia, on the basis of the experience of producers and the results from scientific research.Slaughter animals of at least 9 months of age and 160 kg live weight are required to provide heavy cuts with excellentmeat. Breeds are limited to Italian Large White and Landrace, selected for specific parameters such as loss at 1st saltingof the ham, and their crosses. Crosses with Duroc and hybrids can be used if obtained from selection and crossingschemes that fit the objectives of Italian selection. Backfat thickness must be “sufficient” to obtain retailed fresh hamswith fat cover ranging from 20 to 30 mm, depending on ham weight, and the content of linoleic acid in ham fat covercannot exceed 15%. Fat quantity and quality in feeds should be carefully controlled to satisfy the quality of fat in theham. The feeding level is also relevant, due to the imposed minimum age at slaughter. Feed restriction is a necessarypractice to respect the rules for ham production. For castrate males of medium genetic value, the restriction shouldreduce fat deposition, but the diet composition can be adapted to maintain the maximum growth of protein. For strainswith high lean deposition potential and particularly for gilts, protein deposition should also be limited to maintain a sufficientfat cover of ham.

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