For thousands of years, fatty liver (foie gras) produced by force-feeding has had considerable importance in gastronomy. However, as a result of increasingly stringent animal welfare regulations and consumers' expectations, the classical methods of fatty liver production will likely be replaced by new technologies. As a consequence of the new animal welfare regulations, it can be anticipated that these new technologies will increasingly be based on the optimalization of the natural, physiological processes rather than the use of various feed additives or invasive feeding methods. Therefore, it is essential to understand the physiological regulatory mechanisms that influence fatty liver production. Efficiency of fatty liver production and the level of voluntary feed intake, that may partially or totally substitute force feeding are determined by the genetic and hormonal differences between the different breeds and individuals. From the several known metabolic factors the authors focused here on thyroid hormones. Experiments were carried out on liver- and meat-type end-product goose hybrids. Animals were raised from day 1. They applied pregavage between week 8 and 10, then the animals were force-fed from week 11 for 18 days. Experimental animals were allotted into groups based on the following criteria: their type (liver or meat), gender, appetite, weight gain, and on the timing of feed intake to determine which of the preceding factors have significant impact on fatty liver production. The authors measured body weight, liver weight, and plasma thyroid hormone concentrations of each individuals in each group. They found that besides the age and type, liver weight is also determined by the appetite of the given individual. Correlated thyroid hormone measurements showed increased plasma levels of the active hormone, triiodothyronine (T3). High T3 concentration has been reported to increase appetite, thereby explaining the aforementioned correlation between increased appetite and liver growth.
|Translated title of the contribution||Metabolie and hormonal aspects of fatty liver production in liver- and meat-type goose hybrids|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Magyar Allatorvosok Lapja|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 3 2008|
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