Improving vitamin D content in pork meat by UVB biofortification

H R Neill, C I R Gill, E J McDonald, R McMurray, W C McRoberts, R Loy, A White, R Little, R Muns, E J Rosbotham, U O'Neill, S Smyth, L K Pourshahidi

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent worldwide and identification of alternative food-based strategies are urgently warranted. In two studies, 12-week old crossbred pigs (Duroc x (Large White x Landrace)) were exposed daily to narrowband UVB radiation for ∼10 weeks or control (no UVB exposure) until slaughter. In Study 1 (n = 48), pigs were exposed to UVB for 2 min and in Study 2 (n = 20), this duration was tripled to 6 min. All pigs were fed the maximum permitted 2000 IU vitamin D /kg feed. Loin meat was cooked prior to vitamin D LC-MS/MS analysis. In Study 1, pork loin vitamin D did not differ between groups. Study 2 provided longer UVB exposure time and resulted in significantly higher loin vitamin D (11.97 vs. 6.03 μg/kg), 25(OH)D (2.09 vs. 1.65 μg/kg) and total vitamin D activity (22.88 vs. 14.50 μg/kg) concentrations, compared to control (P < 0.05). Pigs remained healthy during both studies and developed no signs of erythema. Biofortification by UVB radiation provides an effective strategy to further safely increase the naturally occurring vitamin D content of pork loin, alongside feed supplementation. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.]
Original languageEnglish
Article number109115
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages11
JournalMeat Science
Early online date14 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

Funding Information:
This work was funded as part of a Department for the Economy (DfE) Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology (CAST) PhD studentship, supported by Devenish Nutrition Limited and Agri-Food Quest Competence Centre (AFQCC).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • UV radiation
  • Feed supplementation
  • Pigs
  • Pork
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)
  • Cholecalciferol


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