Intramuscular fat (IMF) content is an important determinant of quality characteristics such as tenderness, juiciness and flavour, and of its acceptability by consumers. Research has therefore focused on improving meat quality by optimizing IMF. The present review describes evidence from studies of physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, candidate genes and nutritional regulation as well as animal trials relating to pig meat IMF and meat quality. Recent evidence suggests that breed and marker-assisted selection, candidate genes and nutritional regulation are the most promising strategies for improving IMF content. Additionally, some important aspects of IMF content research and related patents are also discussed.
Keywords: Intramuscular fat, pig meat quality, fatty acid metabolism, adipocyte differentiation, quantitative trait loci, dietary nutrition
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport