The administration of sugar solutions to pigs immediately prior to slaughter. 3. Effect on bacon yield

T. H. Fernandes, W. C. Smith, M. Ellis, J. B.K. Clark, D. G. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two field trials were conducted with 138 and 123 bacon-weight pigs respectively from one farm to determine the effect on bacon yield of feeding the animals sugar solutions prior to slaughter. Three treatments were tested: immediate slaughter on arrival at the abattoir; lairage overnight with access to water only (15 h); and overnight lairage with access to a sugar solution (6 h) followed by water only (9 h) prior to slaughter. A glucose syrup solution was used in one trial and a sucrose solution of similar hexose-equivalent concentration (550 g/kg) in the other. Access to either of the sugar solutions, relative to water only or immediate slaughter, increased bacon yield. This was entirely due to glucose-fed pigs having a higher carcass yield (2·3 % and 1·5 % respectively) and a trend in this direction for the sucrose-fed animals (0·9% and 1·0% respectively). Carcasses of glucose-fed pigs actually gained less weight than those of their counterparts during the curing process, but this did not occur with the sucrose solution. Access to sucrose relative to water only and immediate slaughter increased liver weights by 32% and 42% respectively. Lower hepatic responses were obtained with glucose syrup (18% and 12%). Both sugar solutions reduced muscle ultimate pH (0·1 to 0·2 unit) relative to water only in overnight lairage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalAnimal Production
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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