Meat Quality of Organic & Conventional Pigs

Background and methodology
The current Swedish production systems for pork are optimized for high production and uniform product quality. However, to adapt to sustainability goals concerning animal welfare and environmental impact and improve the competitiveness of Swedish meat, the conventional systems must be continuously evaluated. The objective of this study was to compare organic pork production with conventional production with regard to carcass and meat quality traits. 80 crossbred and castrated male pigs were used of which 40 were raised under organic conditions and the other 40 in a conventional production system. 

It was found that organic pork from non-carriers of the RN- allele was of poorer quality (higher drip loss and increased shear force values) compared with pork form other animals. The RN genotype has a relatively small effect on carcass and technological traits.

Olsson, V., Andersson, K., Hansson, I. & Lundström. (2003). Differences in meat quality between organically and conventionally produced pigs. Meat Science 64: 287-297.