Growth performance, carcass and meat quality of lambs supplemented with increasing levels of a tanniferous bush (Cistus ladanifer L.) and vegetable oils

A. Francisco, M.T. Dentinho, S.P. Alves, P.V. Portugal, F. Fernandes, S. Sengo, E. Jerónimo, M.A. Oliveira, P. Costa, A. Sequeira, R.J.B. Bessa, J. Santos-Silva - Meat Science

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

An investigation of the effect of dietary supplementation of oil and a tanniferous bush on meat quality in lambs.

What is the problem?

Increasing meat’s content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) conjugated linoleic acid isomers (CLA) are targets for improved nutritional quality of ruminant meat. Dietary supplementation with PUFA rich oils can be used to increase this, but as a nutritional strategy had limitations due to the nature of the rumens digestion. Cistus ladanifer L. (CL) is an evergreen forage shrub well adapted to semi-arid conditions, containing condensed tannins (CT). Too much CT on herbivores can have a detrimental effect, however in balanced doses may increase digestion of dietary protein, prevent bloat and act as an anthelmintic in ruminants. CT may also help with meat oxidative stability, with this research exploring these benefits by incorporating CL in high oil-high forage diets of finishing lambs.

What did the research involve?

Merino Banco lambs (n=54) were weaned at 60 days of age, before being assigned a 3 x 3 random factorial arrangement of 3 differing CL levels in feed. The treatments were as follows;

• 5% CL and 0% oil

• 10% CL and 0% oil

• 20% CL and 0% oil

• 5% CL and 4% oil

• 10% CL and 4% oil

• 20% CL and 4% oil

• 5% CL and 8% oil

• 10% CL and 8% oil

• 20% CL and 8% oil

At the end of the trial, lambs were slaughtered and the carcase evaluated. Feed and muscle chemical analysis, shear force, lipid oxidation, meat color and meat sensory analysis were also performed.

What were the key findings?

Treatments did not affect growth weight, feed intake to weight gain ratio, hot or cold carcase weight and dressing percentages. Chemical and physical meat quality traits were not affected by treatments. The off-flavor perception was higher for 8% oil.

Final comment

The level of 100 g/kg DM of CL inclusion improved meat stability after 7 days of storage, while supplementing with linseed and soybean oils (2:1) increased total PUFA in feedlot lambs.

2015 - Portugal - A. Francisco, M.T. Dentinho, S.P. Alves, P.V. Portugal, F. Fernandes, S. Sengo, E. Jerónimo, M.A. Oliveira, P. Costa, A. Sequeira, R.J.B. Bessa, J. Santos-Silva - Meat Science
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