Original scientific paper
The effect of gender on the characteristics of muscle fibers in pork
2014, 15 (4) p. 64-71
The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of gender on the proportional representation of different types of muscle fibres and their selected characteristics. The experiment was carried out with the use of 72 crossbred pigs of final TOPIGS hybrid combination with balanced gender ratio (24 boars/24 gilts/24 barrows) at an average live weight of 22.5 kg. The average slaughter weight of the animals was 108.7 kg. In order to determine the quantitative (number) and qualitative (area, diameter, length) characteristics of the muscle fibre, samples were obtained from the loin carcass part, specifically the muscle musculus longissimus lumborum et thoracis (MLLT). These samples were used for the manufacture and evaluation of permanent histological slides. There were negative correlations found between the number of muscle fibres and their size. Gilts had the highest number of muscle fibres (208.55) per measured surface (1 mm2) and simultaneously the smallest diameter (66.31 μm) of muscle fibres in comparison with boars and barrows. Statistically significant (P<0.05) differences in the area and diameter of muscle fibres type IIA were detected between gilts and barrows.