How can we combine innovations in the pig sector in the domains of genetics, animal nutrition, slaughter and processing in Piétrain crossbred fattening pigs? This research question is central to the Future Flemish Pig research project. Through a multidisciplinary research approach, we are also looking for ways to contribute in the long term to the role of fattening pigs in circular agro-food systems. By implementing data sharing via innovative blockchain technology, not only the developed strategies to improve animal welfare, efficiency in breeding or slaughtering processes but also quality aspects of taste or food safety in both meat portions or dried hams can contribute to increased transparency. This transparency applies not only to the chain players involved but equally to the end consumers.
Via the abovementioned knowledge domains, we develop 1) strategies that improve animal welfare, 2) ways to reduce losses, both at the animal level (pre-mortem) and at the carcass level (post-mortem), 3) improvements that are readily perceivable by consumers regarding the taste and quality of fresh pork and dried ham 4) new, mechanistic insights on the resilience of Piétrain offspring to major fluctuations in feed, especially if that feed is built primarily by variable and fiber-rich side stream ingredients (feed resilience). We explore the potential of blockchain technology in the pig production and processing chain based on improved transparency and automated traceability.
The generated knowledge gives rise to various valorisation opportunities among the project partners that are strongly related to their specific position in the pig chain. The strategic basic research in this project is ahead of the state-of-the-art and has a broader valorisation potential than that of the companies in the consortium. The fundamental insights into the resilience of fattening pigs with regard to the use of fiber-rich by-products and variation in feed and its interaction with genetics are potentially useful for new applications in the transition to a more sustainable livestock farming with a focus on reduced feed-food competition.
Howest campus Brugge, Applied Computer Science
KULeuven - Dept. Biosystemen
Ugent - Fac. Bio-ingenieurswetenschappen
Vlaamse Piétrain fokkerij
|Effective start/end date||1/04/21 → 31/03/25|