THE DUROC BREED

The Duroc breed had its origin in the eastern United States and in the Corn Belt. Duroc may vary in colour from light golden to the preferred dark red. The Duroc's ears should droop.

The breed is credited for having brought about a real influence on carcass and meat quality (Huiskes, Binnendijk, Hoofs + Theissen, 1997). Scientific studies indicate that the Duroc breed has high values of marbling fat in relation to carcass fat (Edwards, Wood, Moncrieff & Porter, 1992; Hovenier, 1993 and Wood & Cameron, 1994; Blanched, Warkup, Ellis, Willis, Avery, 1999; Hviid, Barton-Gade Oksama & Aaslyng, 2002). This has resulted in improved juiciness and tenderness of Duroc meat in comparison to other breeds.

The higher concentration of red oxidative muscle fibres is associated with higher eating quality scores – muscles with more red fibres and according to certain studies also contain higher lipid deposits (Wood & Cameron, 1994).

It would appear that, in order to bring about a worthwhile improvement in eating quality, at least 50% Duroc genes in the slaughter generation are required, implying use of the pure Duroc as terminal sire.

Information Courtesy of: South African Pork Producers Organisation