The effect of forage-types on the fatty acid profile, lipid and protein oxidation, and retail colour stability of muscles from White Dorper lambs
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different forage-types on lamb meat quality parameters. White Dorper lambs that had grazed five forage-types, were slaughtered commercially. At 24 h post-mortem, the m longissimus lumborum (LL) was removed from one side, sliced into three equal sub-samples, vacuum packaged. and assigned to ageing periods (5, 12 or 40 days); the other side of LL was aged for 5 days. The m. adductor femoris was used for fatty acid analysis. Lambs fed chicory + arrowleaf clover had the highest concentration of health claimable omega-3 fatty acids and the lowest omega-6:omega-3 fatty acid ratio. Forage-types with higher vitamin E content showed lower lipid oxidation levels independent of ageing period. Forage-type and ageing period did not influence the redness, yellowness, chroma or reflectance ratio (630 nm divided by 580 nm) of displayed meat. Chicory + arrowleaf clover gave the best results to improve the fatty acid content of lamb meat.