Comparison of chemical composition, quality, and muscle fiber characteristics between cull sows and commercial pigs: The relationship between pork quality based on muscle fiber characteristics
Received: Jul 05, 2023 ; Revised: Sep 18, 2023 ; Accepted: Sep 19, 2023
Published Online: Sep 21, 2023
This study aims to compare the chemical composition, quality, and muscle fiber characteristics of cull sows and commercial pigs, investigating the effect of changes in muscle fiber characteristics on pork quality. The proximate composition, color, pH, water-holding capacity (drip loss and cooking loss), protein solubility, total collagen content, and muscle fiber characteristics of cull sows (n = 20) and commercial pigs (n = 20) pork were compared. No significant differences were found between cull sows and commercial pigs in terms of proximate composition, drip loss, protein solubility, or total collagen content of their meat (p<0.05). However, cull sow pork exhibited a red color and a higher pH (p<0.05). This appears to be the result of changes in muscle fiber number and area composition (p<0.05). Cull sow meat also displayed better water-holding capacity as evident in a smaller cooking loss (p<0.05), which may be related to an increase in muscle fiber cross-sectional area (p<0.05). In conclusion, muscle fiber composition influences the pork quality; cull sow pork retains more moisture when cooked, resulting in minimal physical loss during processing and can offer more processing suitability.