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Effect of hop (Humulus lupulus L.) inclusion in the diet for fattening lambs on animal performance, ruminal characteristics and meat quality

Blanco, Carolina, Bodas, Raúl, Morán, Lara, Mateo, Javier, Andrés, Sonia, Giráldez, F. Javier
Food research international 2018 v.108 pp. 42-47
Humulus lupulus, Merino, animal growth, animal performance, antioxidants, chemical composition, color, dietary supplements, lamb finishing, lambs, males, meat, meat quality, muscle fibers, propionic acid, rumen fermentation, texture
Thirty male merino lambs were fed with a pelleted total mixed ration (TMR) alone or supplemented with hop (Humulus lupulus L.) cones at two different doses (1.5 and 3.0 g hop cones/kg pelleted TMR, respectively), to study the effects of this dietary source of antioxidants on animal performance, ruminal parameters and meat quality attributes. The results showed that dietary supplementation with hop cones decreased lambs' growth rate (P < 0.05) due to a shift in ruminal fermentation, towards a more acetic and less propionic acid production (P < 0.05). These changes in animal growth rate might have promoted microstructural modifications in the quantity and size of muscle fibres, thereby inducing the differences observed in meat chemical composition, colour and texture (P < 0.05), regardless of the lack of differences in meat antioxidant status (P > 0.10).