The effects of moderate indoor exercise (running/walking up to 735 m, 5 days/week) on performance, muscle enzyme activities, carcass traits and technological meat quality were studied in 20 crossbred slaughter pigs during the fattening period. Non-exercised pigs were kept only in their pens and consisted of littermates (no. = 20). Blood samples for lactate analysis and muscle samples from m. longissimus dorsi (LD) and m. biceps femoris (BF) for analyses of the activities of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), citrate synthase (CS), 3-OH-acyl-CoA dehydrogenase and hexokinase were collected at exsanguination. The initial pH was measured approximately 1 min after exsanguination in LD and BF. The carcasses were partially cut and then the back and ham were dissected into individual muscles. Carcass length and presence of osteochondrosis were recorded. Technological meat quality parameters measured were: surface reflectance, water-holding capacity, intramuscular fat (IMF), crude protein, dry matter, ash content, shear force, ultimate pH, pigment content and extractability of muscle proteins.
In comparison with the non-exercised pigs, the exercised pigs had slightly shorter carcasses, paler meat and higher drip loss values in LD and, in BF, a lower proportion of IMF and dry matter and higher pigment content. The CS and LDH activities differed between LD and BF muscles, as also did many of the technological meat quality traits.