Effects of chromium propionate on growth, carcass traits, and pork quality of growing-finishing pigs

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An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of dietary Cr propionate (CrProp) on growth, carcass traits, and pork quality of crossbred finishing gilts. Dietary treatments were 0 or 200 ppb Cr (as CrProp; as-fed basis), and each treatment was replicated four times with five gilts per replicate pen. Gilts were fed diets containing 0.82% lysine from 73 to 80 kg BW and 0.64% lysine from 80 to 115 kg BW. At the end of the trial, carcass and pork quality data were collected from four gilts per replicate. Average daily gain, ADFI, and G:F were not affected (P = 0.76 to 0.96) by CrProp. Before delivery at the abattoir, shrink loss was determined after an 18-h fast (fasting shrink) and after hauling (shipping shrink) pigs for 2.66 h (209.2 km). Fasting, shipping, and overall shrink were not affected (P = 0.14 to 0.39) by CrProp. Carcass length was increased (P = 0.03) in pigs fed CrProp. Loin muscle area, 10th-rib backfat thickness, average backfat thickness, dressing percent, muscle score, fat-free lean, and percent lean were not affected (P = 0.18 to 0.95) by CrProp. Twenty-four-hour loin pH was increased (P = 0.10) in pigs fed CrProp, but 45-min loin and ham pH and 24-h ham pH were not affected (P = 0.39 to 0.83) by CrProp. Subjective (color, marbling, firmness, and wetness) and objective (Commission Internationale de l'Éclairage L*, a*, b*) assessments of the loin muscle (at the 10th-rib interface) were not affected (P = 0.62 to 0.99) by CrProp. Forty-eight-hour drip (P = 0.10) and 21-d purge loss (P = 0.01) were decreased in pigs fed CrProp, but cook and total loss (drip + cook loss) and shear force were not affected (P = 0.35 to 0.53) by CrProp. Plasma cortisol, glucose, and lactate concentrations were not affected (P = 0.28 to 0.97) by CrProp after transportation or during exsanguination. These data indicate that CrProp may improve some aspects of pork quality (loin pH, drip and purge loss) but not growth performance or carcass traits. ©2005 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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Journal of Animal Science

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