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connective tissue, meat quality, proteolytic system, sarcomere length
This study compared the meat quality of Sicilian and Landrace pigs breeds and supported these results with biochemical and histological measurements on the samples collected from the m. Longissimus Dorsi, at the level of the 8th thoracic vertebra, before electrical stimulation. Twenty clinically healthy swine, 10 male (5 for each pig breed) and 10 female (5 for each pig breed), were slaughtered at 1 year of age at a body mass of 135±10 kg and 150±10 respectively for Sicilian and Landrace pigs. Particularly on the muscle considered the morphometric characteristics of FG (fast glycolytic), FOG (fast oxidative glycolytic) and SO (slow oxidative) fibre types and their percentage were determined. Measurements related to myofibrillar fragmentation, sarcomere length and connective tissue properties gave convincing support. Sicilian pig produced more tender meat than Landrace, mainly due to favourable calpain-to-calpastatin ratios.
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