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J Agric Food Chem. 2011 May 11;59(9):5015-25. doi: 10.1021/jf200232e. Epub 2011 Apr 11.

Long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentration and color and lipid stability of muscle from heifers offered a ruminally protected fish oil supplement.

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Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath, Ireland.


Beef heifers (n = 48) were offered, daily, a 1.5 kg ration that contained 0, 69, 138, and 275 g of ruminally protected fish oil (RPFO) fortified with vitamin E (5000 IU/kg). The fatty acid profile of neutral (NL) and polar lipids (PL) of neck muscle was analyzed by GC-FID. Minced muscle was displayed in an 80% O(2):20% CO(2) atmosphere under simulated retail display conditions. Muscle α-tocopherol concentrations did not differ. For PL, the proportions of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) increased (P < 0.05, linearly and quadratically, respectively). For NL, the proportion of EPA was not affected but DHA increased linearly and quadratically (P < 0.05). Supplementation did not affect color stability of ground beef, but lipid oxidation was higher (P < 0.001) for 275 g of RPFO on day 10 of display. In conclusion, supplementation with RPFO increased muscle EPA and DHA with no effect on color stability while lipid oxidation was increased only at the highest level of supplementation, after prolonged display.

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