Effect of different dietary levels of natural-source vitamin E in grow-finish pigs on pork quality and shelf life

D. D. Boler, S. R. Gabriel, H. Yang, R. Balsbaugh, D. C. Mahan, M. S. Brewer, F. K. McKeith, J. Killefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Improving pork quality and shelf life is important in today's swine industry because higher levels of DDGS are incorporated into pig diets. Relatively high level of poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in DDGS may increase pork susceptibility to lipid oxidation and thus reduce pork shelf life. Antioxidants such as vitamin E may delay the onset of pork lipid oxidation when used as an ingredient in the diet. This experiment examined carcass characteristics, meat quality, shelf life, and color stability in pork from pigs (n = 150) fed five levels of a natural vitamin E (Nova-E) and one level of synthetic vitamin E. Natural vitamin E and synthetic vitamin E had no effect on carcass characteristics or meat quality. Increasing dietary natural vitamin E from 10 to 200 mg/kg decreased lipid oxidation. Lipid oxidation of pork chops and ground pork was similar between pigs fed 40 mg/kg and higher levels of natural vitamin E, indicating no additional benefits from supplementing beyond 40 mg/kg natural vitamin E. Supplementing 200 mg/kg synthetic vitamin E decreased pork lipid oxidation when compared to supplementing 10 mg/kg natural vitamin E. High levels of natural vitamin E or synthetic vitamin E, however, did not prevent discoloration of loin chops. These data indicate that natural vitamin E was effective to help reduce lipid oxidation and the effective minimal level of dietary supplementation appeared to be 40 mg/kg.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-730
Number of pages8
JournalMeat Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Lipid oxidation
  • Meat quality
  • Pork
  • Tocopherol
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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