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AGRIBUSINESS: Scientists Say Additive Works

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Brazilian animal scientists reported in the latest issue of the Journal of Animal Science that a small dose of ractopamine increased muscle mass and feed efficiency in pork, but had no noticeable effect on marbling, fat content, toughness or color.

These results come from testing 340 pigs raised under commercial conditions and split into three groups giving them zero, five, or ten milligrams of ractopamine per kilogram of body mass during the last 28 days before slaughter.

Once the pigs were slaughtered - scientists tested the pork pH, temperature, color, drip loss, marbling, intramuscular fat, cooking loss and tenderness. Scientists from Sao Paulo State University say pork is the most common animal protein consumed on earth and it's important to know its quality. However, they also recommend further studies on how ractopamine affects animal behavior, consumer health and the environment.