In order to reduce the health risks associated with red meat as listed by the World Health Organization, the work presented in this article aimed to elucidate the interaction between 5′-CMP–supplemented feed and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) in experimental animals in vivo. 5′-CMP was added to the diet of 90-, 180-, and 270-day-old Xiang pigs, and after 30 days, the Neu5Gc contents, physicochemical parameters, and free amino acid contents of muscle and internal viscera were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection. The mechanism by which 5′-CMP affects Neu5Gc contents was investigated using molecular docking. Results show that 5′-CMP significantly decreased the Neu5Gc content in 180-day-old Xiang pigs (P < 0.05) but had no effect on the Neu5Gc contents in 90- and 270-day-old Xiang pigs. Umami amino acids were significantly increased in 180-day-old Xiang pigs. In the 90- and 270-day-old pigs, histidine increased by 10.38 and 17.87%, respectively. The other free amino acids were either reduced or not affected. Moreover, the 5′-CMP–supplemented diet did not affect the physicochemical parameters of the longissimus muscle in the Xiang pigs. 5′-CMP could occupy almost all the sialyltransferase active-site residues but not His302 and showed inhibition of the sialyltransferase activity. The results provided an experimental basis for the subsequent reduction of Neu5Gc in red meat before slaughter.

  • Intervention with 5′-CMP to modify Neu5Gc contents in Xiang pigs of different ages is discussed.

  • This study aims to discover an effective method for reducing the risk of chronic disease.

  • The inhibition mechanism of 5′-CMP on sialyltransferase and CMAH was explored by molecular docking.

  • The addition of 5′-CMP to feed did not affect the processed-meat characteristics of Xiang pigs.

  • 5′-CMP provides a novel tactic for reducing Neu5Gc content in red meat before slaughter.

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