Addition of an extract of lucerne (Medicago sativa L.) to cattle diets - Effects on fatty acid profile, meat quality and eating quality of the M. longissimus muscle

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Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
JournalMeat Science
Early online date08 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2017
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There is considerable interest in enhancing beneficial fatty acids, particularly 18:3n − 3, conjugated linoleic acid and long chain n − 3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), in beef to provide benefits to human health. Here, the potential to enhance these fatty acids by feeding a n − 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-rich plant extract (PX) from lucerne is presented. Cattle (n = 8/diet) were assigned to the following finishing diets: straw and concentrate (S-CC); straw and concentrate containing 25% PX and 2000 IU vitamin E/kg PX-concentrate (S-PXC); grass silage (GS); GS plus 75 g PX/kg dry matter intake (DMI) (GS-LPX) or GS plus 150 g PX/kg DMI (GS-HPX). Addition of PX to concentrates or GS increased the n − 3 fatty acid content of loin muscle and had favourable effects on the n − 6:n − 3 PUFA ratio (P < 0.05), without detrimental effects on loin muscle sensory characteristics


  • beef, PUFA, lucerne, forage, biohydrogenation