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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Meat Science and Muscle Biology

The fatty acid composition of muscle fat and subcutaneous adipose tissue of grazing heifers supplemented with plant oil-enriched concentrates1


This article in

  1. Vol. 85 No. 4, p. 1062-1073
    Received: Feb 24, 2006
    Accepted: Nov 06, 2006
    Published: December 8, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):

  1. F. Noci*†,
  2. P. French*,
  3. F. J. Monahan and
  4. A. P. Moloney*2
  1. Teagasc, Grange Beef Research Centre, Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland; and
    School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland


Our objective was to determine the effect of oil supplementation of pasture fed, beef cattle on the fatty acids, particularly CLA and PUFA, of muscle and s.c. adipose tissue. Forty-five Charolais crossbred heifers were blocked on BW and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 dietary regimens in a randomized complete block design (n = 15). The 3 treatments were: unsupplemented grazing (GO), restricted grazing plus a sunflower oil-enriched ration (SO), or restricted grazing plus a linseed oil-enriched ration (LO). Heifers were fed the experimental diets for approximately 158 d. Samples of LM muscle and s.c. adipose tissue were taken postmortem, the muscle fat was separated into neutral lipid and polar lipid (no separation was performed on the s.c. adipose tissue), and the fatty acid profile was determined by GLC. No effect of dietary treatment on carcass weight or total fatty acid concentration (mean 2,571 mg/100 g of muscle) in muscle fat was detected. Heifers offered SO had a greater (P < 0.001) proportion of CLA and C18:1trans-11 (1.90 and 9.35 vs. 1.35 and 6.89 g/100 g of fatty acids, respectively) in neutral lipid of muscle fat compared with those offered LO, which had a greater proportion of CLA and C18:1trans-11 than heifers offered GO (0.78 and 3.37 g/100 g of fatty acids, respectively). Similar effects were observed in the polar lipid and s.c. lipid. The PUFA:SFA ratio was greater in muscle fat and s.c. adipose tissue from supplemented heifers than in those offered GO (P < 0.001). Compared with LO, the PUFA:SFA ratio was greater (P < 0.05) in muscle fat of heifers offered SO, but there was no difference between SO and LO for this ratio in s.c. adipose tissue. The n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio was similar in muscle and s.c. adipose tissue for GO and LO, but it was greater (P < 0.05) for SO. It is concluded that supplementation of pasture-fed cattle with plant oil-enriched concentrates resulted in an increase in beef fat of some fatty acids considered to be of benefit to human health. Concentrates enriched with sunflower oil were more effective in increasing the CLA concentration, whereas linseed oil-enriched concentrates resulted in a more favorable n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio. The relevance to human health of the associated increase in C18:1trans-11 merits investigation.

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