Effects of pea chips on pig performance, carcass quality and composition, and palatability of pork

D. J. Newman, E. K. Harris, A. N. Lepper, E. P. Berg, H. H. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pea chips are produced as a by-product when field peas are processed to produce split peas for human consumption. The objective of this experiment was to test the hypothesis that inclusion of pea chips in diets fed to finishing pigs does not negatively influence pig growth performance, carcass composition, and the palatability of pork. A total of 24 barrows (initial BW: 58.0 ± 6.6 kg) were allotted to 1 of 4 treatments and fed early finishing diets for 35 d and late finishing diets for 35 d. A corn-soybean meal (SBM) control diet and 3 diets containing pea chips were formulated for each phase. Pea chips replaced 33.3, 66.6, or 100% of the SBM in the control diet. Pigs were housed individually, and all pigs were slaughtered at the conclusion of the experiment. Overall, there were no differences (P > 0.11) in final BW, ADFI, and G:F of pigs among treatments, but there was a quadratic response in ADG (P = 0.04), with the smallest value observed in pigs fed the control diet. Dressing percentage linearly decreased (P = 0.04) as pea chips replaced SBM in diets, but there were no differences (P > 0.20) among treatments in HCW, LM area, 10th-rib back fat, lean meat percentage, and marbling. Likewise, pH in loin and ham, drip loss, and purge loss were not influenced (P > 0.13) by treatment. However, there was a quadratic response (P = 0.08) in 24-h pH in the shoulder, with the smallest value present in pigs fed the diet, in which 66.6% of the SBM was replaced by pea chips. Subjective LM color and Japanese color score standard were reduced (quadratic, P = 0.03 and 0.05, respectively) and LM b* values and hue angle were increased (quadratic, P = 0.09 and 0.10, respectively) when pea chips replaced SBM in the diets. Ham L* (quadratic, P = 0.04), a* (linear, P = 0.02), b* (quadratic, P = 0.07), color saturation (linear, P = 0.02), and hue angle (quadratic, P = 0.05) were increased when pea chips replaced SBM. However, there were no differences (P > 0.16) in shoulder and fat color. Moreover, cook loss percentage, shear force, juiciness, and pork flavor of pork chops were not different (P > 0.10) among treatments, but tenderness of pork chops linearly decreased (P = 0.04) as SBM replaced pea chips. It is concluded that all the SBM in diets fed to growing-finishing pigs may be replaced by pea chips without negatively influencing growth performance or carcass composition. However, pigs fed pea chips will have pork chops and hams that are lighter, and chops may be less tender if pigs are fed pea chips rather than corn and SBM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3132-3139
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Carcass composition
  • Palatability
  • Pea chip
  • Pig
  • Pork
  • Quality reference:

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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