The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of compensatory growth diets with or without antioxidant inclusion (α-tocopheryl acetate (TA) or green tea catechins (GTC)) on pig performance and quality characteristics of longissimuss dorsi (LD) muscle from Landrace or Duroc pigs. Breed did not influence pig performance but had a significant effect on pork quality. Duroc muscle had higher intramuscular fat, ash and monounsaturated fatty acid levels and lower levels of moisture compared to Landrace. Lipid and pigment oxidation levels were higher in meat from Landrace pigs at initial stages of the study. Pigs fed restricted diets had reduced growth rates and lower back fat thickness. Decreasing the duration of energy restriction or significantly increasing dietary energy prior to slaughter resulted in compensatory growth. Supplementing diets with α-TA increased α-tocopherol levels in m. LD. Lipid oxidation levels (TBARS values) remained low throughout refrigerated storage. Dietary treatments did not affect colour stability or compositional analysis. Overall, lipid oxidation was highest in meat from pigs fed diets with greatest energy restriction and lowest in meat from pigs fed diets supplemented with α-TA or GTC.
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