Friday, July 1News That Matters

Duroc Pig Breed: Origin, Characteristics, and More

Although it is not well known by consumers, this Duroc breed of excellent “pigs” is present in many of the sausages and hams that we consume regularly, even in high-quality products with a designation of origin such as hams from Teruel, from Huelva, or Guijuelo, among others. A few days ago I received abundant information about it from Ignacio de Loyola Clemente López, a researcher at the Department of Genetics of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Córdoba, clarifying many of the gaps that he had in this regard.

This Duroc or Duroc-Jersey breed is not a new breed. It is a breed that arises from the fusion of Old Duroc and Red Jersey in the 19th century, in the USA. In turn, these two founding breeds include pigs of very different origins, there is talk of European pigs such as Berkshire, African pigs with Iberian influence such as Colorado de Guinea, and quite possibly Iberian pigs with a reddish coat.

It was introduced in Spain in the sixties and lately, it is being used as a finishing breed in the industrial crossings of white pigs, since it provides a fatty infiltration that makes these products improve their qualities and flavor.

It is also the only breed whose crossing with Iberian is allowed within the Iberian Quality Standard (R.D. 1469/2007, of November 2), up to 50% blood, always paternally. In fact, the bulk of the production that is marketed as Iberian in our country actually comes from a 50% cross between the Iberian mother and the Duroc male, although nothing is indicated on the label, which is detrimental to the consumer and the Iberian breeders. in purity.

The reasons for these crosses are obvious, productivity is greatly improved by producing stronger and better-growing piglets. But obviously, it is not pure Iberian, as we are led to think, in fact, the crossing of Iberian with Duroc reduces fat infiltration compared to Iberian.

Although the Duroc may be very good, I can assure it from my own experience, and I have nothing to envy the Iberian, the truth is that the lipid composition of the Iberian is more “heart-healthy”. It is simply “an olive tree with legs”, in the words of Ignacio, to whom I greatly appreciate the photos and abundant information on the subject.

Duroc is still one of the most popular pig breeds in the Philippines behind Landrace and Large White.

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