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Effects of feeding fresh bergamot (Citrus Bergamia Risso) pulp at up to 35% of dietary dry matter on growth performance and meat quality from lambs

Scerra, M., Foti, F., Caparra, P., Cilione, C., Violi, L., Fiammingo, G., D’Agui’, G., Chies, L.
Small ruminant research 2018 v.169 pp. 160-166
Citrus bergamia, Merino, alpha-linolenic acid, average daily gain, carcass weight, cold storage, color, conjugated linoleic acid, diet, docosapentaenoic acid, dry matter intake, feed conversion, grains, growth performance, lamb finishing, lambs, lipid peroxidation, meat, meat quality, pulp, vaccenic acid
The effect of fresh bergamot pulp (FBP) was tested on lamb performances and meat quality. Twenty-seven Italian Merino ram-lambs were allotted into three experimental groups and for 90 days were fed a cereal-based concentrate diet (BERG-0) or two diets in which cereals were replaced with 20% (BERG-20) or 35% (BERG-35) FBP on DM basis. No significant differences between treatments were found for final weight, average daily gain, dry matter intake, feed conversion ratio and carcass weight. The BERG-35 treatment tended to increase total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA; P = 0.081) and vaccenic acid (P = 0.068) and increased PUFA n-3 (P < 0.001), rumenic acid (P < 0.001), α-linolenic acid (P < 0.001) and docosapentaenoic acid (P < 0.01), leading also to a value of PUFA n-6/n-3 ratio that not exceed a threshold value of 4. After 6 days of refrigerated storage BERG-20 and BERG-35 treatments reduced meat lipid oxidation (P < 0.01), while about colour parameters no effect of the treatment was observed. Therefore, present results suggest that inclusion fresh bergamot pulp at up to 35% in diets for fattening lamb might be an excellent strategy to reduce the amount of cereal concentrates without compromising animal growth performances and to improve meat quality.