To understand characteristics of carcass traits and meat quality in pig population, 22 indicators of carcass characteristics and meat quality traits were measured on 278 Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire barrows that were slaughtered in different seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter). The effects of body weight and season on carcass characteristics and meat quality were analyzed by GLM procedure, followed the Bonferroni multiple test. The phenotypic correlations among those traits were calculated by employing the CORR procedure. In addition, the linear regression equations were constructed by stepwise regression model in REG procedure. The results showed that pigs slaughtered in spring had the heaviest body weight among the four seasons (P < 0.05), pigs slaughtered in summer had the lowest backfat depth and shear force (P < 0.05), and pigs slaughtered in winter had the lowest drip loss (P < 0.05). The results showed more variation in backfat depth, drip loss, intramuscular fat content, and shear force, compared with other indicators across pigs. Body weight had a significant association with loin eye area, average backfat depth and L⁎24 h (P < 0.05). Furthermore, regression equations for drip loss, cooking loss, shear force, and intramuscular fat content were constructed using more accessible indicators. Collectively, this study provided an overall view of carcass and meat quality traits in a commercial pig population in China, and illustrated that season significantly affected carcass characteristics and meat quality traits independently of body weight.
Keywords: Body weight; Carcass traits; Finishing pigs; Meat quality; Season.
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