Improving vitamin D content in pork meat by UVB biofortification

Neill, H.R.
Gill, C.I.R.
McDonald, E.J.
McMurray, R.
McRoberts, W. Colin
Loy, Ruth A.
White, Catherine Alison
Little, Richard J.
Muns Vila, Ramon
Rosbotham, E.J.
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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 D3/kg feed. Loin meat was cooked prior to vitamin D LC-MS/MS analysis. In Study 1, pork loin vitamin D3 did not differ between groups. Study 2 provided longer UVB exposure time and resulted in significantly higher loin vitamin D3 (11.97 vs. 6.03 μg/kg), 25(OH)D3 (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
Publication history: Accepted - 11 January 2023; Published online - 14 January 2023
UV radiation , Feed supplementation , Pigs , Pork , 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) , Cholecalciferol
Neill, H.R., Gill, C.I.R., McDonald, E.J., McMurray, R., McRoberts, W.C., Loy, R., White, A., Little, R., Muns, R., Rosbotham, E.J., O’Neill, U., Smyth, S. and Pourshahidi, L.K. (2023) ‘Improving vitamin D content in pork meat by UVB biofortification’, Meat Science. Elsevier BV. Available at: