Flaxseed fed pork: n-3 fatty acid enrichment and contribution to dietary recommendations

Meat Sci. 2014 Jan;96(1):541-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.08.021. Epub 2013 Aug 19.


The potential to increase n-3 fatty acid (FA) intake via flaxseed fed pork is underestimated when restricted to pure longissimus muscle, whereas a combination of muscle and adipose tissue is typically consumed. Presently, the FA content of pigs fed 0%, 5% and 10% dietary flaxseed for 11 weeks was measured in loin, picnic and butt primals (lean muscle with epimysium (L), L plus seam fat (LS), and LS plus 5 mm backfat (LSS)). The n-3 FA content necessary for an enrichment claim in Canada (300 mg/100 g serving) was exceeded in L from all primals when feeding 5% flaxseed, being 4 fold that of controls (P<0.001), with further enrichment from inclusion of associated adipose tissues (P<0.001). Increasing flaxseed feeding levels in combination with adipose tissue inclusion amplified total long chain n-3 FA (P<0.05), particularly 20:5n-3 and 22:5n-3. Flaxseed-fed n-3 FA enriched pork can contribute substantially to daily long chain n-3 FA intakes, particularly for societies with typically low seafood consumption.

Keywords: Health effects; Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids; Saturated fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Dietary Fats / analysis
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / analysis*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / analysis
  • Flax / chemistry*
  • Meat / analysis*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances*
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Swine


  • Dietary Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6