Tocopherol content, weight loss and instrumental color analysis of Iberian dry-cured ham as affected by rearing and feeding systems


  • Beatriz Isabel Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Gustavo Cordero Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Clemente López-Bote Facultad de Veterinaria. Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Argimiro Daza Escuela Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos de Madrid



Dietary fat, Dry-cured ham, Feeding, Iberian pigs, Rearing system, Vitamin E.


The effects of rearing (outdoor vs indoor) and feeding systems (acorn and grass vs mixed diets) on ham quality from Duroc x Iberian pigs were studied. Seven groups of 5 females each were used. One group was reared under freerange conditions and fed with acorns and grass (outdoor pigs). Six group were fed mixed diets in confinement (indoor pigs) under a factorial design 3 x 2 with three types of dietary fat: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and medium (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and two levels of α-tocopheryl-acetate. The α-and γ-tocopherol contents were higher (P < 0.05) in hams from outdoor pigs than in hams from indoor pigs. The hams from indoor pigs were lighter than hams from outdoor pigs and redness values were larger in hams from outdoor pigs than in hams from indoor pigs. At 4 days of storage ham samples from outdoor pigs showed a tendency (P < 0.10) to lower weight loss than those from pigs fed a basal level of vitamin E. These results indicate that rearing outdoor and feeding Iberian pigs by acorn and grass increase the α-and γ-tocopherols and improve color and weight losses in dry-cured hams.


Download data is not yet available.


Arnau J, 1998. Principales problemas tecnológicos en la elaboración de jamón curado. In Special Symposium- 44th ICOMST Barcelona, Spain, 72-86.

Association of Official Analytical Chemists. 2000. Official methods of analysis, 17th edition. AOAC, Arlington, VA, USA.

Brown F, 1953. The tocopherols content of farm feedstuffs. J. Sci. Agric. 4, 161. doi:10.1002/jsfa.2740040401

Cava R, Estévez M, Morcuende D, Antequera, T. 2003. Evolution of fatty acids from intramuscular lipid fraction during ripening of Iberian hams as affected by alpha-tocopheryl-acetate supplementation in diet. Food Chem. 81, 199-207. doi:10.1016/S0308-8146(02)00413-2

Daza A, Rey AI, Isabel B, López-Bote CJ. 2004. Effect of dietary vitamin E and partial replacement of poly-with monounsaturated fat on fatty acid patterns of backfat and intramuscular fat in heavy pigs (Iberian x Duroc). J. Anim. Physiol. and Anim. Nutr. 89, 20-28. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0396.2004.00499.x PMid:19112711

European Union guidelines. 1986. Regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States regarding the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes. Directive of 24 November (nº 86/609 EEC).

García-Valverde R, Nieto R, Lachica M, Aguilera JF. 2007. Effects of herbage ingestión on the digestion site and nitrogen balance in heavy Iberian pigs fed on an acorn-based diet. Livestock Sci. 112, 63-67. doi:10.1016/j.livsci.2007.01.161

Isabel B, López-Bote C, Rey, AI, Sanz R. 1999. Influence of dietary 〈-tocopheryl-acetate supplementation on oxidative deterioration and weight loss in sliced drycured ham. Meat Sci. 5, 227-232. doi:10.1016/S0309-1740(98)00115-6

Isabel B, Lopez-Bote C, de la Hoz L, Timón M, García C, Ruiz J. 2003. Effects of feeding elevated concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E to swine on characteristics of dry cured hams. Meat. Sci. 64, 475-482. doi:10.1016/S0309-1740(02)00225-5

Lopez-Bote C, Rey A, Isabel B, Sanz Arias R. 1997. Effect of feeding diets high in monounsaturated fatty acids and alpha-tocopheryl-acetate to rabbits on resulting carcass fatty acid profile and lipid oxidation. Anim. Sci. 64, 177-186.

Lopez-Bote C, 1998. Sustained utilization of the Iberian pig breed. Meat Sci. 49, S17-S27. doi:10.1016/S0309-1740(98)00072-2

López-Bote CJ, Toldr F, Daza A, Ferer JM, Menoyo D, Silió L, Rodríguez, MC. 2008. Effect of exercise on skeletal muscle proteolytic enzyme activity and meat quality characteristics in Iberian pigs. Meat Sci. 79, 71-76. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.08.002

Monahan FJ, Buckley DJ, Morrissey PA, Lynch PB, Gray JI. 1992. Influence of dietary fat and 〈-tocopherol supplementation on lipid oxidation in pork. Meat Sci. 31, 229-241. doi:10.1016/0309-1740(92)90042-3

Morrissey PA, Buckley DJ, Sisk H, Lynch PB, Sheehy PJA. 1996. Uptake of a-tocopherol in porcine plasma and tissues. Meat Sci. 44, 275-283. doi:10.1016/S0309-1740(96)00033-2

Mutetikka DB, Mahan DC. 1993. Effect of pasture, confinement and diet fortification with vitamin E and selenium on reproducing gilts and their progeny. J. Anim. Sci. 71, 3211-3218.

Müller CE, Möller J, Krogh-Jensen S, Udén P. 2007. Tocopherol and carotenoid levels in baled silage and haylage in relation to horse requirements. Anim. Feed Sci. and Tech. 137, 182-197. doi:10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2006.10.007

Ramirez MR, Cava R. 2008. Effect of Iberian x Duroc genotype on composition and sensory properties of dry-cured ham. J. Sci. Food Agric. 88, 667-675 doi:10.1002/jsfa.3133

Rey A, López Bote C, Soares M, Isabel B. 1996. Determination of 〈-tocopherol in pork with high intramuscular fat content.Grasas y Aceites 47, 331-334.

Rey AI, Isabel B, Cava R, Lopez-Bote CJ. 1998. Dietary acorns provide a source of gamma-tocopherol to pigs raised extensively. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 78, 441-443.

Rey A, Daza A, López Carrasco C, López-Bote CJ. 2006. Feeding Iberian pigs with acorns and grass in either free-range or confinement affects the carcass characteristics and fatty acids and tocopherols accumulation in Longissimus dorsi muscle and backfat. Meat Sci. 73, 66-74. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2005.10.018

Rey AI, Kerry JP, Lynch PB, López-Bote CJ, Buckley DJ, Morrissey PA. 2001. Effect of dietary oils and 〈- tocopheryl-acetate supplementation on lipid (TBARS) and cholesterol oxidation in cooked pork. J. Anim. Sci. 79, 1201-1208.

Ruiz, J, de la Hoz L, Isabel B, Rey AI, Daza A, López- Bote CJ. 2005. Improvement of Dry-cured Iberian Ham Quality Characteristics through modifications of dietary fat composition and supplementation with vitamin E. Food Sci. Tech. Int. 11, 327-335. doi:10.1177/1082013205057627

Statistical Analysis System Institute 2004. In SAS user’s guide. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.

Sukhija PS, Palmquist DL 1988. Rapid method for determination of total fatty acid content and composition of feedstuffs and feces. J. Agric. Food Chem. 36, 1202.-1206.

Ventanas S, Tejada JF, Estevez M. 2008. Chemical composition and oxidative status of tissues from Iberian pigs as affected by diets: extensive feeding v. oleic acid- and tocopherols-enriched mixed diets. Animal, 2, 621-630 doi:10.1017/S1751731107001528

Ventanas S, Ventanas J, Tovar J, García C, Estévez M. 2007. Extensive feeding versus oleic acid and tocopherol enriched mixed diets for the production of dry-cured, hams: effect on chemical composition, oxidative status and sensory traits. Meat Sci. 77, 246-256. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.03.010




How to Cite

Isabel B, Cordero G, López-Bote C, Daza A. Tocopherol content, weight loss and instrumental color analysis of Iberian dry-cured ham as affected by rearing and feeding systems. Grasas aceites [Internet]. 2009Jul.30 [cited 2024Feb.26];60(3):248-54. Available from: