Fatty acid composition in pork fat: De-novo synthesis, fatty acid sources and influencing factors – a review
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Fats are among the basic nutrients the human organism needs as a source of energy, as well as to grow and regenerate cells, tissues, and organs. Particularly animal fats, with their higher proportion of saturated fatty acids and low content of n-3 fatty acids, are often seen by the public as relatively undesirable food components. Fatty acid (FA) composition of pork is affected by many factors: genotype, breeding, gender and feeding methods. Numerous research teams, therefore, have searched for means of effectively manipulating the chemical composition of animal fats. This paper reviews existing knowledge and means of effectively influencing the fatty acid composition in pig fat, which is a significant component of human food in European countries due to their high consumption of pork. The findings of various authors demonstrate that not only altering of fatty acids sources in animal diets but a range of other factors as well can significantly influence the composition of fatty acids in pig fat and consequently pork quality.