Effects of dietary leucine supplementation in low crude protein diets on performance, nitrogen balance, whole‐body protein turnover, carcass characteristics and meat quality of finishing pigs
Eighteen Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire barrows, with an average initial body weight (BW) of 75.4 ± 2.0 kg, were randomly allotted to one of three diets with six replicates per treatment for 25 days. The diets comprised a normal protein diet (NP, 14.5% crude protein), a low crude protein diet supplemented with 0.27% alanine (LP + Ala, 10.0% crude protein), or a low crude protein diet supplemented with 0.40% leucine (LP + Leu, 10.0% crude protein). The whole‐body protein synthesis rate, whole‐body protein breakdown rate and protein deposition rate in pigs fed the LP + Leu diet were similar to the NP diet (P > 0.05), and both were significantly higher than pigs fed the LP + Ala diet (P < 0.05). The Longissimus muscle area (LMA) of pigs fed the LP + Leu diet was larger than those fed the LP + Ala diet (P = 0.05). In addition, drip loss and intramuscular fat of pigs fed the LP + Ala diet were higher than that of the others (P < 0.05). In conclusion, supplementation of leucine in low protein diet could stimulate protein deposition and improve the meat quality of finishing pigs more than an alanine‐supplemented one.
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