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J Anim Sci. 2000 Nov;78(11):2849-55.

Fatty acid composition, including conjugated linoleic acid, of intramuscular fat from steers offered grazed grass, grass silage, or concentrate-based diets.

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Teagasc, Grange Research Centre, Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland.


The effects of grazed grass, grass silage, or concentrates on fatty acid composition and conjugated linoleic acid (cis-9, trans-11-18:2; CLA) concentrations of i.m. fat of steers fed to achieve similar carcass growth rates were investigated. Fifty steers were divided into 10 blocks based on body weight and assigned at random from within blocks to one of five dietary treatments. The experimental rations offered daily for 85 d preceding slaughter were 1) grass silage for ad libitum intake plus 4 kg of concentrate, 2) 8 kg of concentrate plus 1 kg of hay, 3) 6 kg of grazed grass DM plus 5 kg of concentrate, 4) 12 kg of grazed grass DM plus 2.5 kg concentrate, or 5) 22 kg of grazed grass DM. The concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in i.m. fat was higher (P < .05) for steers offered ration 5 than for those given any other ration. Decreasing the proportion of concentrate in the diet, which effectively increased grass intake, caused a linear decrease in the concentration of i.m. saturated fatty acids (SFA) (P < .01) and in the n-6:n-3 PUFA ratio (P < .001) and a linear increase in the PUFA:SFA ratio (P < .01) and the conjugated linoleic acid concentration (P < .001). The data indicate that i.m. fatty acid composition of beef can be improved from a human health perspective by inclusion of grass in the diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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