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Barley diet to enhance the quality of the Teruel ham
29 October 2012
Researchers at the UPM have collaborated on a research that concluded that
the use of barley at the end of the growing period of heavy pigs can
reduce production costs and can improve quality of hams and loins.
A joint research of the Production Animal department from the Universidad
Politécnica de Madrid, Complutense de Madrid and Zaragoza concluded that
barley-based diet as a main component of feed of pigs between 100 and
130kg of live weight for the production of ham of Teruel, can reduce
production cost of pork, it does not affect negatively to the quality of
pig carcass and can increase the percentage of intramuscular fat of loin
and ham, what it has a beneficial impact on meat quality.
Hams and loins of white pigs which currently consumed are characterized by
their poor organoleptic quality due to low intramuscular fat content.
Increasing this content is the main goal of many researches that aim to
enhance the quality of these types of products.
In this context, researchers at the E.T.S Agronomics Engineering headed by
the Dr. Argimiro Daza in collaboration with the group of Dr. López Bote at
the Universidad Complutense and the Dr. Latorre at the Universidad de
Zaragoza, have studied how barley-based diet as the main component of feed
for heavy pigs for production of Teruel ham affects to the quality of meat
of subsequent products as well as its production cost.
After diverse studies, 1,2,3 they found that content of monounsaturated
fatty acid (MUFA) in the subcutaneous fat and in the intramuscular loin
and ham increases when barley is administered while content of palmitic
acid and total saturated fatty acids decreases.
An increase of intramuscular fat means an increase of juiciness,
tenderness and flavor in loin and hams. Oleic acid is beneficial to human
health and can generate volatile aldehydes which enhance taste and smell
of curing ham products. However, saturated fatty acids have an adverse
Besides, barley is poor in proteins and vitamin A, but rich in energy and
its use at the end of the growing period of heavy pigs as main feeding,
without vitamin-mineral concealer means an important reduction of the
ratio protein/energy of feed apart from reducing intake of vitamin A by
1Daza, A.; Latorre, M. A.; Olivares, A.; Amazan, D.; Lopez Bote, C. J.
Effect of replacement of a conventional diet by granulated barley during
finishing period on growth performance and carcass and meat
characteristics in 130-kg gilts. LIVESTOCK SCIENCE, 148 (1-2):196-200 SEP
2Daza, A ; Latorre, M.A ; López Bote, C.J. The effect of granulated barley
as single major ingredient in the growing or finishing dieto n productive
performance, carcass, meat and fat quality of heavy pigs. ANIMAL, 6:9,
1543-1543. SEP 2012
3Daza, A ; Latorre, M.A ; López Bote, C.J. The use of barley as single
ingredient in the diet provided during the finishing period may improve
the meat quality of heavy pigs from PO Teruel ham (Spain). SPANISH JOURNAL
OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, 8 (3), 607-616. SEP 2010
Source. A. Daza. UPM.