Role of Pantothenic Acid as a Modifier of Body Composition in Pigs
Pigs were fed one of four dietary additions of pantothenic acid (PA, 0, 30, 60, and 120 ppm) to determine the effect of PA additions on growth, body composition, and meat quality of pigs fed from 10 to 115 kg of body weight (BW). Fifteen sets (7 barrows, 8 gilts) of four littermate pigs from a high lean strain were used. Pigs were individually penned and reared via SEW scheme. Pigs were self-fed a diet containing 19 ppm PA from weaning to 10 kg BW. Pigs were then fed a 6 ppm PA basal diet and allotted within litter to one of four dietary additions of PA from d-calcium pantothenate. As dietary PA concentration increased, longissimus muscle area increased quadratically (43.9, 48.0, 45.4, 47.5 cm2, P = .06) and 10th rib backfat decreased quadratically (2.25, 2.04, 2.07, 1.95 cm, P < .05) resulting in a quadratic increase in fat-free lean (51.4, 53.4, 52.5, 53.6%, P < .04). Daily body weight gain (933, 916, 940, 914 g) and feed:gain (2.34, 2.32, 2.34, 2.33 kg/kg) were not altered by dietary PA. In addition, measures of meat (longissimus) quality, including intramuscular fat content (4.4, 4.2, 4.6, 4.0%), Hunter L (54.5, 54.2, 54.3, 54.3), and Hunter a (8.7, 9.1, 8.9, 8.5) color values and water loss under retail storage (4.7, 4.9, 5.1, 4.7%) at 96 hours post-kill were not (P > .10) altered by dietary PA. Based on these data, dietary pantothenic acid at concentrations greater than that required to maximize body weight gain elicits reductions in subcutaneous fat thickness while increasing carcass lean content of market weight pigs without altering meat quality.