Effects of providing lipoic acid or beet pulp in finishing diets to enhance meat quality in ractopamine supplemented pigs
This thesis examines providing lipoic acid or beet pulp in finishing diets to enhance meat quality in two breeds of pigs supplemented with the growth promotant, ractopamine. The antioxidant, lipoic acid was fed at 2 g d-1 while 30% beet pulp was included in the diet to increase fermentable fibre content. Both trials assessed breed, gender, and dietary treatment effects and interactions on growth, carcass, and meat quality traits. Ractopamine improved growth and carcass traits, while decreasing pork tenderness. Lipoic acid did not affect growth performance or carcass traits, and failed to decrease post mortem pH decline in muscle. Beet pulp did not impact growth performance but appeared to decrease hot carcass weight and lean content. Beet pulp had no impact on longissimus (loin) quality, but may have a tenderizing effect on semimembranosus muscle. Providing lipoic acid or beet pulp did not prevent negative effects of ractopamine on loin tenderness.