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TDK conference 2020

Comparative analysis of short and long chain fatty acid metabolism in wild boar and domestic pig
Holl Ágoston - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry
Supervisors: Dr. Gábor Mátis, Dr. Hedvig Fébel


Volatile and long chain fatty acids play a crucial role in the energy metabolism of mammals. The volatile fatty acids are the end products of anaerobe bacterial fermentation in the forestomachs of ruminants and in the caecum and colon of non-ruminant species, serving as an important source of energy and also having beneficial effects on the gut and ruminal mucosa. The goal of our research was to determine the differences between the volatile fatty acid production in the caecum of wild boar and domestic pig. We have also examined the long chain fatty acid composition of the liver in both species, which may affect the physiological function of several organs and their diseases.

The samples were gained from the caecal ingesta and the liver of 47 wild boars from the western region of Hungary. The samples of 40 domestic pigs were taken from a slaughterhouse. For the quantitative determination of both volatile and long chain fatty acids gas cromatography was used.

According to our results the caecal ingesta of wild boars contained significantly higher total volatile fatty acid concentration than that of domestic pigs (approx. 67% more), in details, higher concentrations of acetic, propionic, butyric and valeric acids were measured in the wild boar, but the concentration of isobutyric acid was lower. The proportions of propionic and isobutyric acids were significantly lower, whilst that of butyric acid was significantly higher in the wild boar. The time of sampling, the habitat, further the age and sex of the animals had a significant effect on the caecal volatile fatty acid concentration in wild boars.

Among the long chain fatty acids, the hepatic concentrations of arachidonic, oleic, palmitic, stearic, docosapentaenoic and gamma-linolenic acids were significantly higher in the domestic pig, while the levels of docosahexaenoic and linolenic acids were higher in the liver of the wild boar. The Ω3-fatty acids (linolenic, eicosapentaeonic, docosahexaeonic) were found in significantly increased concentrations in wild boars. The habitat, the time of sampling, the age and sex of the animals did not have a significant effect on the concentrations of long chain fatty acids in the liver.

Our results show that the caecal fermentation of wild boars is significantly more intense than that of domestic pigs, and the concentrations of long chain fatty acids in the liver of domestic pigs are higher. The observed differences in the caecal volatile fatty acid concentration is likely due to the diet of the wild boar which contains less easily degradable carbohydrates and more complex, non-digestible carbohydrates, thus they depend on the intestinal bacterial fermentation more than the domestic pig. The lower concentrations of long chain fatty acids and the higher concentration of Ω3-fatty acids in the liver of the wild boar may have a beneficial effect on the meat quality, and hence, on the health of the consumers.

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