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Research r...FinishersTrial report 931

Trial report 931: CLA improves lean meat percentage

Lean meat percentage increased when CLA was added to finisher feed, but FCR did not improve. CLA is currently too expensive to add to finisher feed.


Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is naturally occurring in dairy products and meat, and research has repeatedly demonstrated a positive effect of CLA on gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and lean meat percentage in pigs.

Results in this trial showed that lean meat percentage increased in finishers fed CLA from approx. 62 kg until slaughter at approx. 111 kg, and this effect was seen to increase when inclusion rate increased (from 0 to 0.5%). Lean meat percentage was also positively affected regardless of whether the pigs were given 0.5% CLA from an average weight of either 62 or 83 kg. FCR remained the same regardless of inclusion rate and duration. Daily gain dropped, and therefore the improvement in lean meat percentage was not reflected in an increase in production value per place unit/year when using identical feed prices per feed unit (FUgp). There were no financial benefits in adding CLA to pig feed regardless of inclusion and duration.

Analyses revealed a linear correlation showing that a 0.1% increase in CLA significantly reduced daily feed intake by 0.02 FUgp a day and improved lean meat percentage by 0.02 percentage units when pigs were fed CLA from averagely 62 kg. Lean meat percentage was positively affected by 0.7 percentage units when pigs were fed 0.5% CLA regardless of starting point (62 or 83 kg).

With the current payment for lean meat percentage, it is not profitable to add CLA to finisher feed regardless of inclusion rate and duration.

The finishers in this trial were given CLA (Lutalin™ with 60% CLA) in increasing inclusion rates from an average weight of 62 kg. The trial, conducted on one farm, comprised five different inclusion rates of CLA: 0; 0.125; 0.25; 0.375; and 0.5% CLA. Inclusion of 0.5% CLA from an average weight of 83 was also investigated.

Financial support

The trial was financially supported by the Pig Levy Fund and the Rural District Programme under the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. Project ID: DSP09/10/58. Journal no.: 3663-D09-00354.

Updated: 13.11.2012


Dorthe K. Rasmussen

Project Manager, Ph.D.

Phone: (+45) 3339 4442