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Last update: May 2021

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Improvement and characterization of lipids pork quality

Thesis : Improvement and characterization of lipids pork quality
Studying the effect of variable content and food efficiency of different sources of fatty acid n-3 on growing pigs

Pigs could be used as a vector of fatty acids of interest for human


Unlike fatty acids n-6, the fatty acids n-3 consumption by human is insufficient. However, some studies showed the beneficial effect of fatty acids n-3 on health. To bring back the balance between the two families, it is possible using pigs as a vector of fatty acids n-3. Indeed, there is a relation between lipids bringing by food and ingested by animals and fatty acids deposed in meat.

What is the future of DHA in animal body?

Among fatty acids n-3 of interest, there are C18:3 n-3 (α-linolenic acid: ALA) precursor and it by-product as C20:5 n-3 (eicosapentaenoic acid: EPA) and C22:6 n-3 (docosahexaenoic acid: DHA). Nevertheless, studies indicated that only ALA and EPA content increased in meat with the raise of these same fatty acids in animal food. The thesis will concentrate to study DHA’s future and it metabolism in animal body to understand what is it deposit stumbling block in pork tissue. In the first hand, diets with different content of fatty acids n-6 and n-3 will be tested. In the other hand, diets with different form of n-3 ALA and DHA will be used to follow fatty acids deposit in the meat.

What is the impact of technological treatment of enriched fatty acids n-3 seeds on their food efficiency?

Animal feeding is the mainly factor influencing meat quality. Nevertheless, meat composition depending on the animals digestion efficiency. Thus, it is possible to act on animals digestibility applying technological treatment on seeds. In a third experiment and using deposit prediction equation of fatty acids, the study will evaluates the food efficiency of fatty acids n-3 seeds that have differently technologically treated.

How to develop NIR to characterize fatty acids n-3 in pork?


To complete the aims of the thesis’s first part, it is necessary to characterize and identify meat, which are enriched in fatty acids n-3 with fast, reliable and inexpensive tools. The fatty acids dosage with gas-liquid chromatography is very accurate but long and expensive. It must necessary to find other methods. Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIR) allows detecting and characterizing quickly the element of an organic sample, as fatty acids. Currently, certainly because of their low content, this method cannot detect long chain of fatty acids in meat like fatty acids n-3. The last part of this thesis will consist in developing the method thanks to the samples of the two first experiments.

Auriane De Tonnac has been working on this subject of thesis since the 1st December of 2013 for 3 years. She is supervised by Jacques Mourot and Etienne Labussière in the team Alimentation and nutrition.


Auriane de Tonnac (Phd student) :[at]
Jacques Mourot (supervisor) : jacques.mourot[at]
Etienne Labussière (co-supervisor) : etienne.labussiere[at]