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Effects of dietary leucine supplementation in low crude protein diets on performance, nitrogen balance, whole‐body protein turnover, carcass characteristics and meat quality of finishing pigs

Research paper by Shihai Zhang, Licui Chu, Shiyan Qiao, Xiangbing Mao, Xiangfang Zeng

Indexed on: 14 Mar '16Published on: 24 Nov '15Published in: Animal Science Journal



Abstract

Eighteen Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire barrows, with an average initial body weight (BW) of 75.4 ± 2.0 kg, were randomly allotted to one of three diets with six replicates per treatment for 25 days. The diets comprised a normal protein diet (NP, 14.5% crude protein), a low crude protein diet supplemented with 0.27% alanine (LP + Ala, 10.0% crude protein), or a low crude protein diet supplemented with 0.40% leucine (LP + Leu, 10.0% crude protein). The whole‐body protein synthesis rate, whole‐body protein breakdown rate and protein deposition rate in pigs fed the LP + Leu diet were similar to the NP diet (P > 0.05), and both were significantly higher than pigs fed the LP + Ala diet (P < 0.05). The Longissimus muscle area (LMA) of pigs fed the LP + Leu diet was larger than those fed the LP + Ala diet (P = 0.05). In addition, drip loss and intramuscular fat of pigs fed the LP + Ala diet were higher than that of the others (P < 0.05). In conclusion, supplementation of leucine in low protein diet could stimulate protein deposition and improve the meat quality of finishing pigs more than an alanine‐supplemented one.