The amount and distribution of water inside the meat has a considerable influence on its properties. High losses of fluid in the form of drip may affect financial output, nutritional value, consumer appeal and/or technological properties of porcine meat. Therefore, a deeper insight into the traits water-holding capacity (WHC) and drip is favourable on behalf of producers, industry and consumers. Similar to most meat quality traits, WHC and drip loss (DRIP) are moderately heritable. The genetic correlation between these two traits is high. Correlation to other meat quality traits, such as pH value, cooking loss, reflectance, etc. is existent as predictable. Two major genes are known, RYR1 on chromosome 6 and RN on chromosome 15, to influence meat quality in general and WHC in particular. Furthermore, a number of candidate genes exist, e.g. phosphoglycerate mutase 2. Within the variety of quantitative trait loci (QTL) experiments, a number of QTL have been identified. QTL for DRIP and/or WHC have been found on chromosome 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18; for cooking loss on 7, 14 and18, and for pH value on nearly all chromosomes. Recently, a QTL study for meat quality and body composition traits in a Duroc-Pietrain (DUPI) resource population has been conducted at the University of Bonn, Germany. Four QTL for DRIP were identified on chromosomes 2, 3, 5 and 18. The QTL regions are in agreement with previously published QTL for this and other related traits. Further research and finemapping has begun and candidate genes located within the QTL regions are currently under investigation. Combination and comparison of results should lead to deeper insights in the genetic background of meat quality and DRIP.
Jennen, D. G., Brings, A. D., Liu, G., Jüngst, H., Tholen, E., Jonas, E., Tesfaye, D., Schellander, K., & Phatsara, C. (2007). Genetic aspects concerning drip loss and water-holding capacity of porcine meat. Journal of Animal Breeding and Genetics, 124(Suppl. 1), 2-11. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0388.2007.00681.x