Performance, carcass traits, physicochemical properties and fatty acids composition of lamb's meat fed diets with marine microalgae meal (Schizochytrium sp.)
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Marine microalgae of the genus Schizochytrium can be used in the diet of sheep a source of protein and energy and changing meat composition essentially due to its high content in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The objective was to evaluate the best inclusion level of marine microalgae meal in the lamb diet on the performance, carcass traits and meat quality. A total of thirty-two uncastrated Ile de France lambs with an initial average body weight (BW) of 20 ± 0.2 kg were distributed in a completely randomized design with eight replicates and four treatments [marine microalgae meal inclusion at 0 (control), 2; 4 and 6% in dry matte (DM)]. Marine microalgae meal inclusion in the diets of lambs reduced (P ≤0.05) DM intake, average daily gain, ruminal papilla height and width, meat cholesterol, C18:0, C18:1n–9, C18:2n–6, ΣMUFA:ΣSFA ratio, Σn–6 and Δ9–desaturase-C16 activity of longissimus muscle. However, the marine microalgae meal increased (P ≤0.05) the feeding conversion, liver weight, meat lipid oxidation, C16:0, C17:0, C18:1n–7, 18:2 c9-t11 (CLA), C20:5n–3 (EPA) and C20:6n–3 (DHA), ΣPUFA, Σn–3, atherogenicity (AI) and thrombogenicity (TI) index, ΣHypercholesterolemic (H) FA and ΣPUFA:ΣSFA ratio. The carcass weight and yield, most of the variables of physicochemical composition and other FAs were not affected (P >0.05) by marine microalgae meal inclusion in the diet. The marine microalgae meal inclusion up to 6% level in Ille de France lambs’ diet was not efficient because it reduced the DMI, performance and feeding efficiency of the animals and it worsen lipid oxidation and healthy meat compounds AI, TI and h:H indexes. However, regarding meat fat quality, the microalgae inclusion confirmed the hypothesis of improving EPA, DHA, Σn–3 and CLA concentrations and reducing meat total cholesterol.
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