Effect of environmental enrichment and herbal compounds-supplemented diet on pig carcass, meat quality traits, and consumers’ acceptability and preference

Nicolau Casal, Maria Font-i-furnols, Marina Gispert, Xavier Manteca, Emma Fàbrega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Animal welfare can be considered an ethical attribute of product quality, but consumers should appreciate its added value. The aim of this study was to evaluate consumer’s acceptability, preference, and the meat and carcass quality of pigs reared with two stress-reducing strategies: supplementation of an herbal compound (HC) containing Valeriana officinalis and Passiflora incarnata, and environmental enrichment (EE) by the provision of hemp ropes, sawdust, and rubber balls. A total of 56 pigs were divided in four treatments in two pens of seven pigs per treatment (2 × 2 factorial design). Meat and carcass quality were evaluated. Consumer’s acceptability and preference were analysed with a sensory test and a conjoint analysis in 110 consumers. Before slaughter, control pigs (no EE and no HC) presented lower live weight compared with other treatments (p = 0.0009). Although acceptance was the same for all of the treatments, consumers preferred systems aiming to increase pig welfare. The most important factor was production system, with a preference for those improving welfare, followed by feeding system, with a preference for those with natural herbs supplementation. Although price was the least important factor, a segment of consumers showed a clear preference for lower prices. These results suggest that welfare improvements could be appreciated by particular consumer segments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118
JournalAnimals
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Conjoint analysis
  • Environmental enrichment
  • Herbal compounds
  • Pork quality
  • Sensory analysis

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