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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376710

Research Project: Protecting the Welfare of Food Producing Animals

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Title: Impact of L-Glutamine as Replacement of Dietary Antibiotics during Post Weaning and Transport Recovery on Carcass and Meat Quality Attributes in Pigs

item MA, DANYI - Purdue University
item GUEDES, JULIANA - Purdue University
item ZUELLY, STACEY - Purdue University
item DUTTLINGER, ALAN - Purdue University
item Johnson, Jay
item Lay Jr, Donald
item KIM, YUAN BRAD - Purdue University

Submitted to: Livestock Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/20/2020
Publication Date: 11/21/2020
Citation: Ma, D., Guedes, J.M., Zuelly, S.M., Duttlinger, A.W., Johnson, J.S., Lay Jr, D.C., Kim, Y.H. 2020. Impact of L-Glutamine as Replacement of Dietary Antibiotics during Post Weaning and Transport Recovery on Carcass and Meat Quality Attributes in Pigs. Livestock Science. 244.

Interpretive Summary: Weaning and transport can be one of the most stressful phases of commercial swine production and may result in poor welfare, reduced health, and impaired productivity in pigs. To reduce the negative impacts of weaning and transport, pig producers can utilize a variety of management and nutritionally based strategies. Recent work by the USDA-ARS has determined that supplementing pig diets with a conditionally essential amino acid called L-glutamine results in improved growth and biomarkers of health at a similar level as traditionally fed antibiotics. However, it is unknown whether this early life benefit has any impact on the final meat product that consumers enjoy or if the effects on meat quality would be impacted by season of weaning and transport. Therefore, the study objective was to determine the impact of 0.20% dietary L-glutamine supplementation following weaning and transport during the summer or spring seasons on pig carcass and meat quality characteristics. It was determined that 0.20% L-glutamine supplementation had no discernable impact on carcass or meat quality in pigs; however, L-glutamine improved meat color stability. In addition, pigs that were weaned and transported in the summer demonstrated negatively impacted carcass and meat quality when compared to pigs that were weaned and transported during the spring. In summary, supplementing L-glutamine following weaning and transport had marginally positive and no negative impacts on future meat quality, but pigs weaned and transported during summer months may have reduced meat quality.

Technical Abstract: Dietary L-glutamine could be potentially used as an antibiotics alternative to alleviate post transport and wean stress. The study objective was to evaluate the impacts of 0.2% dietary L-glutamine supplementation during post weaning and transport recovery on carcass and meat quality characteristics of pigs. A total of 480 pigs were weaned and transported in two production seasons from weaning to harvest, July-January and April-September, fed 3 different diets (Non: no antibiotic, Anti: 441 ppm chlortetracycline and 38.6 ppm tiamulin, Gln: 0.20% L-glutamine with no antibiotics) for 14 days after transport, and fed basal diet until reaching market weight. Pairs of longissimus dorsi (LD) and psoas major (PM) muscles were obtained from 1-day and 7-day chilled carcass sides (n=10 pigs/dietary treatment/season replicate). Overall no negative impacts of Gln were found in carcasses characteristics such as loin eye area, back fat, and muscling score. Dietary Gln did not affect chemical and physical attributes of porcine muscles including pH, protein and lipid content, SF, and WHC (P > 0.05). Gln showed marginally decreased CIE L* and hue, suggested enhanced color stability. April-September replicates showed faster pH decline, paler surface color, higher intra-muscular fat deposition, improved tenderness and water-holding capacity as indicated by lower shear force values, thaw-purge loss, and cooking loss (P < 0.05). These results suggested that L-glutamine supplementation as a nutraceutical mitigation strategy could have equivalent impacts on fat and lean accretion, SF, and WHC and slightly better impacts on meat color attributes compared to meat from pigs treated with antibiotics.