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The objectives were to test the effects of generic ractopamine (Engain; Zoetis Inc., Kalamazoo, MI) on growth, carcass characteristics, meat quality, and fat quality of finishing pigs. A total of 220 pigs were fed 0 mg/kg (CON) or 10 mg/kg generic ractopamine (gRAC) for 28 d before slaughter. Barrows fed gRAC were 5.22 kg (4.13%) heavier (P<0.0001) than CON barrows. Gilts fed gRAC were 5.44 kg (4.47%) heavier (P<0.0001) than CON gilts. Barrows fed gRAC gained 0.21 kg/d (18.75%) more weight (P<0.0001) than CON barrows. Gilts fed gRAC gained 0.20 kg/d (20%) more weight (P<0.0001) than CON gilts. Generic RAC-fed barrows were 20% more (P<0.0001) feed efficient than CON barrows. Generic RAC-fed gilts were 15.62% more feed efficient (P<0.0001) than CON gilts. Longissimus-muscle area (11.9%) and loin depth (8.6%) were greater (P<0.0001) in gRAC-fed barrows than CON barrows, whereas LM area (7.7%) and loin depth (6.4%) were greater (P<0.001) in gRAC-fed gilts than CON gilts. Boneless cutting yields (1.77% units in barrows and 2.20% units in gilts) of gRAC-fed pigs were greater (P≤0.02) than cutting yields of CON. Feeding gRAC did not affect (P≥0.24) subjective LM quality characteristics. Fresh belly firmness was not (P≥0.66) affected by gRAC, but gRAC-fed gilts had greater (P≤0.01) proportions of all PUFA, particularly linoleic and linolenic acids, than CON gilts. Although shear force values did not differ (P=0.24) between gRAC and CON barrows, gilts fed gRAC had 0.46 kg (13.7%) greater (P=0.04) shear force values than CON gilts. Feeding 10 mg/kg of generic ractopamine to finishing pigs improved production efficiency and increased cutability but did not affect meat or fat quality.
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