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Selecting the quality of mule duck fatty liver based on near-infrared spectroscopy

Marie-Etancelin C., Vitezica Z.G., Bonnal L., Fernandez X., Bastianelli D.. 2014. Genetics Selection Evolution, 46 (38) : 7 p..

Background: "Foie gras" is produced predominantly in France and about 90% of the commercialized product is obtained from male mule ducks. The melting rate (percentage of fat released during cooking) is the main criterion used to determine the quality of "foie gras". However, up to now the melting rate could not be predicted without causing liver damage, which means that selection programs could not use this criterion. Methods: Fatty liver phenotypes were obtained for a population of over 1400 overfed male mule ducks. The phenotypes were based on two types of near-infrared spectra (on the liver surface and on ground liver) in order to predict the melting rate and liver composition (ash, dry matter, lipid and protein contents). Genetic parameters were computed in multiple traits with a "sire-dam" model and using a Gibbs sampling approach. Results: The estimates for the genetic parameters show that the measured melting rate and the predicted melting rate obtained with two near-infrared spectrometer devices are genetically the same trait: genetic correlations are very high (ranging from +0.89 to +0.97 depending on the mule duck parental line and the spectrometer) and heritabilities are comparable. The predictions based on the spectra of ground liver samples using a laboratory spectrometer correlate with those based on the surface spectra using a portable spectrometer (from +0.83 to +0.95 for dry matter, lipid and protein content) and are particularly high for the melting rate (higher than +0.95). Although less accurate than the predictions obtained using the spectra of ground liver samples, the phenotypic prediction of the melting rate based on surface spectra is sufficiently accurate to be used by "foie gras" processors. Conclusions: Near-infrared spectrometry is an efficient tool to select liver quality in breeding programs because animals can be ranked according to their liver melting rate without damaging their livers. Thus, these original results will help breeders to select ducks based on the liver melting rate, a crucial criterion that defines the quality of the liver and for which there was previously no accurate predictor. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : sélection; amélioration des animaux; paramètre génétique; modèle mathématique; abats; foie; qualité; technique de prévision; spectroscopie infrarouge; canard; hybride; anas; canard de barbarie; france

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des animaux; Méthodes de relevé; Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques; Physiologie et biochimie animales; Composition des produits alimentaires

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