Fresh meat quality and further processing characteristics of shoulders from finishing pigs fed ractopamine hydrochloride (Paylean)

M. A. Tavárez, Dustin Dee Boler, S. N. Carr, M. J. Ritter, D. B. Petry, C. M. Souza, J. Killefer, F. K. Mckeith, Anna Carol Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Our objectives were to characterize the effects of ractopamine hydrochloride (RAC) on fresh meat and further processing characteristics of muscles (serratus ventralis and triceps brachii) from the shoulders of finishing pigs. Two hundred forty shoulders originating from 120 carcasses (60 barrows and 60 gilts) were selected from a commercial population of pigs. A 2 × 2 factorial in a completely randomized design was used, with factors of RAC inclusion in the diet (0 or 7.4 mg/kg, as-fed basis) and sex (barrow or gilt). Paired shoulders (120 rights and 120 lefts) were transported from a federally inspected slaughter facility under refrigeration to the University of Illinois Meat Science Laboratory for evaluation. Subsequently, right and left shoulders were separated and designated for 2 separate experiments. Shoulders from right side were used in Exp. 1 to determine further processing characteristics. Cellar trimmed (CT) butts from the Boston butt of the shoulders were cured and dried-cured to manufacture cottage bacon and coppa, respectively. Shoulders from left side were used in Exp. 2 to determine fresh meat characteristics. Pigs fed RAC had greater shoulder weights and increased yields of cuts from the shoulder. Feeding RAC decreased Boston butt fat content (P = 0.01) but had no effect on picnic fat content (P = 0.86). Pigs fed RAC had greater (P < 0.01) iodine values than controls (67.00 vs. 64.95, respectively). Inclusion of RAC in the diet had no effect on cottage bacon cooked yield (P = 0.33), but it decreased (P < 0.01) cottage bacon fat content without having an effect on protein content (P = 0.50). In addition, cottage bacon from RAC shoulders had greater slice total area (P = 0.01) and less seam fat (P = 0.01) than controls. Ractopamine hydrochloride had no detrimental effect on coppa processing characteristics and visual appearance. Cottage bacon and coppa from RAC pigs had sensory characteristics similar to controls. Shoulders from pigs fed RAC might be of benefit to the industry because they provide more pounds of sellable product with no detrimental effects on processing characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5122-5134
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number13
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Coppa
  • Cottage bacon
  • Pork
  • Processing
  • Ractopamine hydrochloride
  • Shoulder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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