The conference called Fatty Pig on fat-type hogs (including the more and more famous Hungarian Mangalitsa) might bring scientific and economic results. The conference was organized for the second time by the Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Nutrition and WESSLING Hungary Kft. on November 21 and 22 in Herceghalom, and it was attended by researchers and businessmen from all around the world.
Fat-type hogs play a key role in the production of high quality pork! Fat-type hogs are usually bred only in small populations, but in many parts of the world, and they represent a premium segment within the sector, and also enormous national, genetic and economic value. To utilize these values, it is outstandingly important to investigate and to understand more thoroughly their physiological and genetic properties. Mangalitsa is more and more well-known in the world and more and more sought-after by consumers – said Dr. József Rátky, director general of the Research Institute for Animal Breeding and Nutrition, co-organizer of the conference.
With genetic analysis against counterfeiting
For successful performance of a premium product on the market, in order to eliminate counterfeiting, traceability is indispensable, which is achieved by performing the necessary background analyses and molecular biological-genetic research. This was the goal of the MANGFOOD project, an undertaking of Biomi Biotechnological Service Kft., a joint venture of the independent analytical laboratory WESSLING Hungary Kft. and the Agricultural Biotechnological Center.
As Adrienn Micsinai, general manager of Biomi told us that, together with several other enterprises and scientific laboratories, a gene sequence specific to the Mangalitsa was found during the MANGFOOD project, which is suitable for the fast and highly accurate determination of whether the given product is really made of Mangalitsa. This way it was possible to differentiate genetically between Mangalitsa and other pigs. This solution can be used not only for products containg only one type of meat, but also for mixed products, e.g. sausages, and even the percentage Mangalitsa content can be determined.
The journey of the Mangalitsa
Elimination of counterfeiting is extremely important, since Mangalitsa today has an outstanding role in the Hungarian meat industry – emphasized Dr. Lajos Bognár, deputy undersecretary of the Ministry of Rural Development responsible for food chain contol supervision and agricultural administration. Mangalitsa was in a critical state in the 1990’s, but it was resurrected thanks to the gene preservation program that was started in 1995.
The fate of other fat-type hogs all over the world was similar to that of the Mangalitsa – said Péter Tóth, president of the National Society of Fat-Type Hog Breeders and the Genetic Resources Council of Indigenous Livestock. Ancient breeds were close to extinction and they were revived – concurrently with the appearance of a new demand for quality meat – by a few eager breeders, learning almost in a self-educated way all there is to know about this animal. And then they were joined by research institutes and economic players.
Lo Chin-Hsien Ra, owner of 551 HORAI, an Osaka-based Japanese restaurant chain came to Hungary specifically for the sake of Mangalitsa. He had heard a lot about the breed, and had already encountered Mangalitsa products in Japan. This was not an accident, because – as was told by Endre Nagy, general manager of Pick Szeged Zrt., known internationally for its excellent salami, among other things – the leading product of the company, “téliszalámi”, has been present in the Hungarian and world markets for 145 years, and its raw material is high weight, high quality pork, i.e. Mangalitsa.