Effect of weaning and sex on meat fatty acid profile of grazing lambs

Martin Janíček, Daniel Volna, Marek Repkovský, Milan Margetín


Article Details: Received: 2020-10-20 | Accepted: 2020-11-27 | Available online: 2021-01-31


Twenty Tsigai and Suffolk crossbreed lambs in grazing conditions were used to investigate the effect of weaning status (weaned vs. unweaned) and sex on fatty acid composition of meat. Six males and four females were included in both groups, the weaned lambs group (WL) and the unweaned lambs group (UL). The fatty acid profile of Musculus longissimus lumborum et thoracis intramuscular fat (IMF) were determined by gas chromatography and analysed by analysis of variance. WL displayed higher proportion of t11-C18:1 (P < 0.001), n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) C18:2 (P < 0.01) and C20:4 (P < 0.05), n-3 PUFA C18:3 (P < 0.05), C20:5 (P < 0.01), C22:5 (P < 0.05), C22:6 (P < 0.05) and the total PUFA (P < 0.01) in IMF than UL. On the contrary, IMF of UL had higher proportion of the medium-chain saturated fatty acids (SFA) such as C12:0 (P < 0.01), C14:0 (P < 0.01) and C16:0 (P < 0.01), the total SFA (P < 0.05) and the total monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) (P < 0.05). The weaning status had no significant effect on n-6/n-3 ratio, however the ratio was satisfactory low in both groups. The sex had no effect on a profile of essential and health beneficial fatty acids in meat of lamb. In conclusion, meat of weaned lambs in grazing system might be considered to obtain a higher proportion of healthy n-3 fatty acids compared to unweaned lambs.

Keywords: fatty acids, intramuscular fat, lamb meat, weaned lambs, unweaned lambs


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