Distribution Of

Species differ greatly in the distribution of fat in the body. Rats have small omental and perivisceral depots, modest subcutaneous depots, and large perigonadal and perirenal depots. In contrast, pigs deposit approximately 70% of fat in the subcutaneous depots with a modest perirenal depot and smaller omental, perivisceral, and perigonadal depots. Cattle and sheep deposit much less fat in the subcutaneous depot than pigs, and deposit more fat in the perirenal and especially the omental and perivisceral depots. The deposition of fat in intermuscular depots (between the individual muscles) is common in cattle, pigs, and sheep and tends to be accentuated in the forequarters. In developed countries, intermuscular fat can be a negative factor in the marketing of meat cuts because of the aversion to dietary intake of fat. By contrast, there are market segments that favor considerable fat deposition in the intramuscular depot (i.e., marbling), at least in specific retail meat cuts. Interestingly, there are no great differences between breeds within a species in the distribution of fat, although Japanese Kobe beef have a very high level of intramuscular fat. Also, cattle breeds bred for muscle production have more subcutaneous and less internal fat, whereas the breeds bred for milk production have less subcutaneous and more internal fat. No other species have been selected for such extreme product production as cattle; perhaps if such selection were practiced

Table 2 Growth of pigs (g/d)a

Carcass

Nonfat

Breed

Weight

lean

Fat

viscera

Landrace

1049

454

277

67

Duroc

906

381

291

81

Fat, slow grow line

817

301

348

73

aGrowth rate between 85 and 105 kg. (Adapted from Ref. 10.)

Table 3

Growth of Callipyge lambs

Accretion rate, g/day

Breed

Protein

Fat

Callipyge

12.5

35.2

Normal

10.2

42.1

in other species, the same extremes of fat distribution would ensue.

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