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Fatty acid composition and vitamin E of meat as influenced by age and season of slaughter in Mediterranean light lamb

D’Alessandro, Angela Gabriella, Maiorano, Giuseppe, Casamassima, Donato, Martemucci, Giovanni
Small ruminant research 2019 v.170 pp. 97-101
age at slaughter, conjugated linoleic acid, fatty acid composition, hay, lambs, maternal milk, meat, monounsaturated fatty acids, nutrition assessment, polyunsaturated fatty acids, spring, vitamin E, winter
The study aimed to determine the fatty acid composition, vitamin E content of meat from light lambs in relation to slaughtering season (winter and spring) and age (45 and 60 days). In each season, twenty lambs were subdivided into two groups corresponding to the experimental ages. All lambs received maternal milk and a supplementation of hay and commercial concentrate from 30 days to slaughter. The total saturated fatty acid proportion was affected by the slaughter season, showing greater values in the spring compared to the winter, with significant difference for 60-day lambs. In winter, the meat showed a greater monounsaturated fatty acid proportion for both the 45-day and 60-day lambs, and the lowest n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio in lambs of 45 days. The higher contents of polyunsaturated fatty acid were obtained in the spring. In this season, the meat from 60-day lambs contained greater proportions of conjugated linoleic acids than that from the lambs slaughtered in the winter. The age and slaughter season were not associated with the differences in nutritional indices. The greater slaughter age improved the vitamin E content of meat. In conclusion, the meat from the older lambs had better properties as vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acid contents in spring; in winter, monounsaturated fatty acids resulted higher in both 45 and 60-d lambs.