Please wait a minute...
Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (1): 143-151    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)62072-6
Animal Science · Veterinary Medicine Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Effect of dietary supplementation with mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves on the growth performance, meat quality and antioxidative capacity of finishing pigs
ZENG Zhu, JIANG Jun-jie, YU Jie, MAO Xiang-bing, YU Bing, CHEN Dai-wen
Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistant Nutrition, Ministry of Education/Institute of Animal Nutrition, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, P.R.China
Download:  PDF in ScienceDirect  
Export:  BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves powder (MLP) supplementation on meat quality of finishing pigs.  A total of 40 Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire pigs (initial body weight of (40.5±0.63) kg) were randomly allotted into two treatments, fed either with control diet or 15% MLP diet for 85 d.  The results showed that MLP diet decreased (P≤0.05) average daily gain (ADG) and increased (P<0.05) feed/gain ratio (F/G) in the finishing and whole period.  MLP diet also decreased (P<0.05) carcass weight, dressing percentage, last rib and average backfat depth.  However, MLP diet increased (P<0.05) intramuscular fat (IMF) content, decreased (P<0.05) shear force, cooking loss and drip loss.  In addition, MLP diet increased (P<0.05) total antioxidative capacity, glutathione peroxidase and tended (P<0.10) to increase total superoxide dismutase in serum.  In longissimus thoracis, myosin heavy chain (MyHC) I and IIa mRNA levels were increased (P≤0.05) for MLP diet.  In conclusion, 15% MLP supplementation reduced the growth performance and carcass traits, but improved meat quality of finishing pigs possibly through the change of myofiber characteristics, enhancement of antioxidative capacity and increase of IMF. 
Keywords:  mulberry leaves powder        meat quality        myofibers        antioxidation        pigs  
Received: 26 February 2018   Accepted:
Fund: Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistant Nutrition, Ministry of Education/Institute of Animal Nutrition, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, P.R.ChinaThis work was supported by the earmarked fund for China Agriculture Research Syatem (CARS-35) and the Key Technology Research and Integration Demonstration of Modern Pig Industry Chain in Sichuan, China (2016NZ0006).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence CHEN Dai-wen, Tel/Fax: +86-835-2885106, E-mail:    
About author:  ZENG Zhu, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

ZENG Zhu, JIANG Jun-jie, YU Jie, MAO Xiang-bing, YU Bing, CHEN Dai-wen. 2019. Effect of dietary supplementation with mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves on the growth performance, meat quality and antioxidative capacity of finishing pigs. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(1): 143-151.

Agyekum A K, Sands J S, Regassa A, Kiarie E, Weihrauch D, Kim W K, Nyachoti C M. 2015. Effect of supplementing a fibrous diet with a xylanase and β-glucanase blend on growth performance, intestinal glucose uptake, and transport-associated gene expression in growing pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 93, 3483–3493.
Agyekum A K, Woyengo T A, Slominski B A, Yin Y L, Nyachoti C M. 2014. Effects of formulating growing pig diet with increasing levels of wheat-corn distillers dried grains with solubles on digestible nutrient basis on growth performance and nutrient digestibility. Journal of Animal Physiology & Animal Nutrition, 98, 651–658.
Andallu B, Varadacharyulu N C. 2003. Antioxidant role of mulberry (Morus indica L. cv. Anantha) leaves in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Clinica Chimica Acta, 338, 3–10.
Arabshahi-Delouee S, Urooj A. 2007. Antioxidant properties of various solvent extracts of mulberry (Morus indica L.) leaves. Food Chemistry, 102, 1233–1240.
Brewer M S, Zhu L G, Bidner B, Meisinger D J, Mckeith F K. 2001. Measuring pork color: Effects of bloom time, muscle, pH and relationship to instrumental parameters. Meat Science, 57, 169–176.
Chang J J, Hsu M J, Huang H P, Chung D J, Chang Y C, Wang C J. 2013. Mulberry anthocyanins inhibit oleic acid induced lipid accumulation by reduction of lipogenesis and promotion of hepatic lipid clearance. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 61, 6069–6076.
Chen J J, Li X R. 2007. Hypolipidemic effect of flavonoids from mulberry leaves in triton WR-1339 induced hyperlipidemic mice. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 16, 290–294.
Choe J H, Kim B C. 2014. Association of blood glucose, blood lactate, serum cortisol levels, muscle metabolites, muscle fiber type composition, and pork quality traits. Meat Science,  97, 137–142.
Choi Y M, Kim B C. 2009. Muscle fiber characteristics, myofibrillar protein isoforms, and meat quality. Livestock Science, 122, 105–118.
Correa J, Faucitano L, Laforest J, Rivest J, Marcoux M, Gariépy C. 2006. Effects of slaughter weight on carcass composition and meat quality in pigs of two different growth rates. Meat Science, 72, 91–99.
Cunniff P. 1995. Official methods of analysis of AOAC international. Volume I Agricultural chemicals, contaminants, drugs. Volume II Food composition, additives, natural contaminants. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 6, 382–382.
Dihal A A, Woude H V D, Hendriksen P J M, Charif H, Dekker L J, Ijsselstijn L, Boer V C J D, Alink G M, Burgers P C, Rietjens I M C M. 2010. Transcriptome and proteome profiling of colon mucosa from quercetin fed F344 rats point to tumor preventive mechanisms, increased mitochondrial fatty acid degradation and decreased glycolysis. Proteomics, 8, 45–61.
Essen-Gustavsson B, Karlsson A, Lundström K, Enfält A C. 1994. Intramuscular fat and muscle fibre lipid contents in halothane-gene-free pigs fed high or low protein diets and its relation to meat quality. Meat Science, 38, 269–277.
GB 12694-2016. 2016. Hygienic Specifications of Meat Packing Plant. Standards Press of China, China. (in Chinese)
Güven I. 2012. Effect of species on nutritive value of mulberry leaves. Kafkas U?niversitesi Veteriner Faku?ltesi Dergisi, 18, 865–869.
Hamill R M, Mcbryan J, Mcgee C, Mullen A M, Sweeney T, Talbot A, Cairns M T, Davey G C. 2012. Functional analysis of muscle gene expression profiles associated with tenderness and intramuscular fat content in pork. Meat Science, 92, 440–450.
Hammelman J E, Bowker B C, Grant A L, Forrest J C, Schinckel A P, Gerrard D E. 2003. Early postmortem electrical stimulation simulates PSE pork development. Meat Science,  63, 69.
He H, Lu Y H. 2013. Comparison of inhibitory activities and mechanisms of five mulberry plant bioactive components against α-glucosidase. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 61, 8110–8119.
Henckel P, Karlsson A, Oksbjerg N, Søholm P J. 2000. Control of post mortem pH decrease in pig muscles: Experimental design and testing of animal models. Meat Science, 55, 131.
Honikel K O. 1998. Reference methods for the assessment of physical characteristics of meat. Meat Science, 49, 447–457.
Hu C J, Jiang Q Y, Zhang T, Yin Y L, Li F N, Deng J P, Wu G Y, Kong X F. 2017. Dietary supplementation with arginine and glutamic acid modifies growth performance, carcass traits, and meat quality in growing-finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 95, 2680.
Islam M R, Siddiqui M N, Khatun A, Siddiky M N A, Rahman M Z, Bostami A B M R, Selim A S M. 2015. Dietary effect of mulberry leaf (Morus alba) meal on growth performance and serum cholesterol level of broiler chickens. Dissertations & Theses - Gradworks, 12, 79–89.
Jensen C, Flensted-Jensen M, Skibsted L H, Bertelsen G. 1998. Effects of dietary rape seed oil, copper(II) sulphate and vitamin E on drip loss, colour and lipid oxidation of chilled pork chops packed in atmospheric air or in a high oxygen atmosphere. Meat Science, 50, 211–221.
Joo S T, Kim G D, Hwang Y H, Ryu Y C. 2013. Control of fresh meat quality through manipulation of muscle fiber characteristics. Meat Science, 95, 828–836.
Kärst S, Cheng R, Schmitt A O, Yang H, de Villena F P, Palmer A A, Brockmann G A. 2011. Genetic determinants for intramuscular fat content and water-holding capacity in mice selected for high muscle mass. Mammalian Genome Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society, 22, 530.
Katsube T, Yamasaki M, Shiwaku K, Ishijima T, Matsumoto I, Abe K, Yamasaki Y. 2010. Effect of flavonol glycoside in mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaf on glucose metabolism and oxidative stress in liver in diet-induced obese mice. Journal of the Science of Food & Agriculture, 90, 2386–2392.
Kimura T, Nakagawa K, Kubota H, Kojima Y, Goto Y, Yamagishi K, Oita S, Oikawa S, Miyazawa T. 2007. Food-grade mulberry powder enriched with 1-deoxynojirimycin suppresses the elevation of postprandial blood glucose in humans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55, 5869–5874.
Klont R, Brocks L, Eikelenboom G. 1998. Muscle fibre type and meat quality. Meat Science, 49, S219–S229.
Koomkrong N, Boonkaewwan C, Laenoi W, Kayan A. 2017. Blood haematology, muscle pH and serum cortisol changes in pigs with different levels of drip loss. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 30, 1751–1755.
Kuan K K, Stanogias G, C Dunkin A. 1983. The effect of proportion of cell-wall material from lucerne leaf meal on apparent digestibility, rate of passage and gut characteristics in pigs. Animal Production, 36, 201–209.
Larzul C, Lefaucheur L, Ecolan P, Gogué J, Talmant A, Sellier P, Roy P L, Monin G. 1997. Phenotypic and genetic parameters for longissimus muscle fiber characteristics in relation to growth, carcass, and meat quality traits in large white pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 75, 3126.
Lebret B. 2004. Rationalization of pig production: consequences on meat quality. Inra Productions Animales, 17, 79–91.
Lefaucheur L, Ecolan P, Plantard L, Gueguen N. 2002. New insights into muscle fiber types in the pig. Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry, 50, 719–730.
Li Y G. 2012. Effects of dietary mulberry leaf on growth performance, fat metabolism and meat quality of finishing pigs. Chinese Journal of Animal Nutrition, 24, 1805–1811. (in Chinese)
Livak K J, Schmittgen T D. 2001. Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2(–Delta Delta C(T)) method. Methods, 25, 402–408.
Ma X, Jiang Z, Lin Y, Zheng C, Zhou G. 2010a. Dietary supplementation with carnosine improves antioxidant capacity and meat quality of finishing pigs. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 94, e286–e295.
Ma X, Lin Y, Jiang Z, Zheng C, Zhou G, Yu D, Cao T, Wang J, Chen F. 2010b. Dietary arginine supplementation enhances antioxidative capacity and improves meat quality of finishing pigs. Amino Acids, 38, 95–102.
Maltin C A, Sinclair K D, Warriss P D, Grant C M, Porter A D, Delday M I, Warkup C C. 1998. The effects of age at slaughter, genotype and finishing system on the biochemical properties, muscle fibre type characteristics and eating quality of bull beef from suckled calves. Animal Science, 66, 341–348.
NRC (National Research Council). 2012. Nutrient Requirements of Swine. National Academies Press, USA.
NPPC (National Pork Producers Council). 1991. Procedures to Evaluate Market Hogs. 3rd ed. National Pork Producers Council, Des Moines, IA.
Offer G, Knight P. 1988. The structural basis of water-holding in meat. Developments in Meat Science, 4, 63.
Okrouhlá M, Stupka R, ?ítek J, Šprysl M, Brzobohatý L. 2013. Effect of dietary linseed supplementation on the performance, meat quality, fatty acid profile of pigs. Czech Journal of Animal Science, 58, 279–288.
Omidiran M O, Baiyewu R A, Ademola I T, Fakorede O C. 2012. Phytochemical analysis, nutritional composition and antimicrobial activities of white mulberry (Morus alba). Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 11, 456–460.
Owusuasiedu A, Patience J F, Laarveld B, Van Kessel A G, Simmins P H, Zijlstra R T. 2006. Effects of guar gum and cellulose on digesta passage rate, ileal microbial populations, energy and protein digestibility, and performance of grower pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 84, 843–852.
Peterson B A. 2008. Effects of birth and weaning weight on variation in growth performance parameters and carcass characteristics and composition of pigs. Ph D thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
Price N L, Gomes A P, Ling A J, Duarte F V, Martin-Montalvo A, North B J, Agarwal B, Ye L, Ramadori G, Teodoro J S. 2012. SIRT1 is required for AMPK activation and the beneficial effects of resveratrol on mitochondrial function. Cell Metabolism, 15, 675–690.
Rossi R, Pastorelli G, Cannata S, Tavaniello S, Maiorano G, Corino C. 2013. Effect of long term dietary supplementation with plant extract on carcass characteristics meat quality and oxidative stability in pork. Meat Science, 95, 542.
Scheffler T L, Gerrard D E. 2007. Mechanisms controlling pork quality development: The biochemistry controlling postmortem energy metabolism. Meat Science, 77, 7–16.
Schiaffino S, Reggiani C. 1996. Molecular diversity of myofibrillar proteins: Gene regulation and functional significance. Physiological Reviews, 76, 371–423.
Stanogias G, Pearce G. 1985. The digestion of fibre by pigs. 1. The effects of amount and type of fibre on apparent digestibility, nitrogen balance and rate of passage. British Journal of Nutrition, 53, 513–530.
Stevenson L, Phillips F, O’Sullivan K, Walton J. 2012. Wheat bran: Its composition and benefits to health, a European perspective. International Journal of Food Sciences & Nutrition, 63, 1001–1013.
Van Soest P J, Robertson J B, Lewis B A. 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science, 74, 3583–3597.
Sun X, Yamasaki M, Katsube T, Shiwaku K. 2015. Effects of quercetin derivatives from mulberry leaves: Improved gene expression related hepatic lipid and glucose metabolism in short-term high-fat fed mice. Nutrition Research and Practice, 9, 137–143.
Tsuduki T, Kikuchi I, Kimura T, Nakagawa K, Miyazawa T. 2013. Intake of mulberry 1-deoxynojirimycin prevents diet-induced obesity through increases in adiponectin in mice. Food Chemistry, 139, 16–23.
Weatherup R, Beattie V, Moss B, Kilpatrick D, Walker N. 1998. The effect of increasing slaughter weight on the production performance and meat quality of finishing pigs. Animal Science, 67, 591–600.
Wenk C. 2001. The role of dietary fibre in the digestive physiology of the pig. Animal Feed Science & Technology, 83, 21–33.
Wilson R D, Islam M S. 2015. Effects of white mulberry (Morus alba) leaf tea investigated in a type 2 diabetes model of rats Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, 72, 153–160.
Wimmers K, Ngu N T, Jennen D G, Tesfaye D, Murani E, Schellander K, Ponsuksili S. 2008. Relationship between myosin heavy chain isoform expression and muscling in several diverse pig breeds. Journal of Animal Science, 86, 795.
Yang J, Li T Z, Cao H Z, Liu H Y, Hou X F, Lu C L. 2014. Effects of dietary forage mulberry on growth performance and meat quality of finishing pigs. Chinese Journal of Animal Science, 7, 52–56. (in Chinese)
Zhang A W, Lee B D, Lee S K, Ahn G H. 2005. Effects of yeast (Saccharromyces cerevisiae) cell components on growth performance, meat quality, and ileal mucosa development of broiler chicks. Poultry Science, 84, 1015–1021.
Zhang C, Luo J, Yu B, Zheng P, Huang Z, Mao X, He J, Yu J, Chen J, Chen D. 2015. Dietary resveratrol supplementation improves meat quality of finishing pigs through changing muscle fiber characteristics and antioxidative status. Meat Science, 102, 15–21.
Zhang Y, Li F, Cao Y, He M. 2017. 413 Supplementation of tea polyphenol mixed with sweetener in diet included with or without flax oil increased antioxidative capacity of blood serum and longissimus dorsi muscle of fattening pigs. Journal of Animal Science, 95, 203–204.
Zhao J B, Liu P, Huang C F, Liu L, Li E K, Zhang G, Zhang S. 2018. Effect of wheat bran on apparent total tract digestibility, growth performance, fecal microbiota and their metabolites in growing pigs. Animal Feed Science & Technology, 239, 14–26.
Zhao X, Li L, Luo Q, Ye M, Luo G, Kuang Z. 2015. Effects of mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaf polysaccharides on growth performance, diarrhea, blood parameters, and gut microbiota of early-weanling pigs. Livestock Science, 177, 88–94.
[1] XIE Lei, QIN Jiang-tao, RAO Lin, CUI Deng-shuai, TANG Xi, XIAO Shi-jun, ZHANG Zhi-yan, HUANG Lu-sheng. Effects of carcass weight, sex and breed composition on meat cuts and carcass trait in finishing pigs[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2023, 22(5): 1489-1501.
[2] WANG Lai-di, ZHANG Yang, KONG Ling-ling, WANG Zhi-xiu, BAI Hao, JIANG Yong, BI Yu-lin, CHANG Guo-bin, CHEN Guo-hong. Effects of rearing system (floor vs. cage) and sex on performance, meat quality and enteric microorganism of yellow feather broilers[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(7): 1907-1920.
[3] WANG Chuan-long, XING Guan-zhong, WANG Li-sai, LI Su-fen, ZHANG Li-yang, LU Lin, LUO Xu-gang, LIAO Xiu-dong . Effects of selenium source and level on growth performance, antioxidative ability and meat quality of broilers[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2021, 20(1): 227-235.
[4] LIU Guo-qing, SUN Guang-ming, LIAO Xiu-dong, HUANG Jian-zhong, GUO Mei-jin, ZHANG Li-yang, GUO Yan-li, LU Lin, LUO Xu-gang. Effect of dietary supplementation of pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium on growth performance, meat quality and antioxidative ability of broilers[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2020, 19(7): 1850-1856.
[5] LI Xin, XIA An-qi, CHEN Li-juan, DU Man-ting, CHEN Li, KANG Ning, ZHANG De-quan. Effects of lairage after transport on post mortem muscle glycolysis, protein phosphorylation and lamb meat quality[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2018, 17(10): 2336-2344.
[6] LIAO Xiu-dong, WEN Qian, ZHANG Ling-yan, LU Lin, ZHANG Li-yang, LUO Xu-gang. Effect of dietary supplementation with flavonoid from Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi on growth performance, meat quality and antioxidative ability of broilers[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2018, 17(05): 1165-1170.
[7] DUAN Hai-tao, LI Jun-guo, XUE Min, YANG Jie, DONG Ying-chao, LIANG Ke-hong, QIN Yu-chang . Effects of conditioners (single-layer, double-layer and retention-conditioner) on the growth performance, meat quality and intestinal morphology of growing and finishing pigs[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2018, 17(04): 919-927.
[8] MEN Xiao-ming, DENG Bo, TAO Xin, QI Ke-ke, XU Zi-wei. Wnt gene expression in adult porcine longissimus dorsi and its association with muscle fiber type, energy metabolism, and meat quality[J]. >Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 2017, 16(01): 144-150.
No Suggested Reading articles found!