Michael E.R. Dugan*, Jennifer L. Aalhus and John K.G. Kramer
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
The driving force behind most CLA research in swine has been related to
potential improvements in animal production. Early work using rodent models
indicated feeding CLA could potentially reduce body fat, increase lean,
increase growth rate and/or improve feed conversion efficiency. Producer
backed funding organizations were, therefore, very receptive to proposals
to extend this research to pigs and a number of studies have now been
completed world-wide. In general, improvements in body composition have
been found, but evidence indicating CLA improves growth rate or feed conversion
has been limited. Inclusion of CLA into pig diets has, however, been shown
to increase muscle marbling fat and fat hardness and both of these have
potential to increase carcass value. Currently, BASF has the international
marketing licence to include CLA in animal feeds, but to date, this practice
has not been approved in Canada or the USA. If and when approval is granted,
the next step in reaching CLAís economic potential would be to
seek approval for claiming a CLA enrichment in pork and pork products.
Given the ability of swine to accumulate relatively high levels of CLA
in their tissues, pork and pork products might then become an important
vehicle for delivery of physiologically significant levels of CLA to consumers.
Dr. Duganís research has been supported by the Alberta Pork Producers
Development Corporation, the Canada Alberta Hog Industry Development Fund,
Conlinco Inc. and the AAFC Matching Investment Initiative.
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