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Intra-muscular and inter-muscular variation in carbon turnover of ovine muscles as recorded by stable isotope ratios

Harrison, Sabine M., Monahan, Frank J., Moloney, Aidan P., Kelly, Simon D., Cuffe, Fionnuala, Hoogewerff, Jurian, Schmidt, Olaf
Food chemistry 2010 v.123 no.2 pp. 203-209
lamb meat, muscle tissues, muscle physiology, food analysis, meat composition, meat quality, product authenticity, carbon, lambs, muscles, lamb feeding, stable isotopes, experimental diets, ruminant nutrition
In the case of muscle-based foods, the incorporation of dietary isotopic signals into muscle tissue is a dynamic process and it is not known whether all muscles, or locations within a muscle, have the same isotopic composition. Therefore, an experiment was conducted in which 28 lambs were switched from a control diet to an isotopically distinct experimental diet offered at two different energy allowances (EA). Small, albeit significant, differences were detected in tissue carbon (C) turnover within the muscle Longissimus dorsi. Inter-muscular comparison showed similar C half-lives for four of the five analysed muscles. The results also clearly demonstrated that the EA had a significant impact on intra- and inter-muscular C turnover. The findings of similar tissue C turnover of several muscles sold as meats and the comparable tissue-diet fractionation of the analysed muscles (both within the same EA) will enable scientists to analyse different meat samples according to availability without introducing large biases. However, EA must be considered a factor of uncertainty.