Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Gregg Rentfrow


Two separate studies were conducted to evaluate the potential interaction of fat sources and vitamin E (VE) on heavy slaughter weights. In Study 1, a total of 64 individually-fed pigs (28.41 ± 0.83 kg) were randomly assigned to 8 dietary treatments in a 4×2 factorial arrangement. Fat treatments included cornstarch (CS), tallow (TW), corn oil (CO), and coconut-oil (CN). VE treatments were dietary alpha-tocopheryl-acetate (ATA) at 11 and 200 ppm. In Study 2, a total of 72 individually fed pigs (28.55 ± 1.16 kg) were randomly assigned to 12 dietary treatments in a 2 × 6 factorial arrangement. Fat treatments were TW and CO. VE treatments included four levels of ATA (11, 40, 100, and 200 ppm) and two levels of mixed tocopherols (primarily gamma-tocopherol (γ-T); 40 and 100 ppm). For Study 2, slaughter weight (P = 0.04) and pork sensory attributes such as tenderness (P < 0.01), juiciness (P < 0.01) and overall approval (P < 0.01) increased with increasing dietary ATA VE. Feeding γ-T at 40 ppm, resulted in a higher L* and hue as well as a lower a*, a/b, and chroma. Furthermore, feeding γ-T at 100 ppm resulted in a lower L* and hue (P < 0.05) as well as a higher a*, a/b, and chroma (P < 0.05). During extended shelf life measurements, TW tended to have a higher L* (P < 0.05) and b* (P < 0.05). γ-T VE chops exhibited less of an off-flavor (P = 0.05). Bellies from pigs fed higher saturated fat acids displayed a greater belly depth (P < 0.05), a larger belly angle (P < 0.05), and a lower bacon fat shatter score (P < 0.05). Overall, feeding a higher percentage of statured fatty acids leads to a more desirable pork belly and supplementing higher levels of γ-T could improve shelf life color and consumer sensory analysis.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Funding from the National Pork Board, Fats and Proteins Research Foundation, and DSM received in 2018.

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Meat Science Commons