The fatty acid composition of longissimus lumborum muscle of suckling and earlyweaned dual-purpose wool/meat lambs
Twenty-four dual purpose (wool/meat) suckling and early weaned ram lambs were used to study the fatty acid profile in intramuscular fat of longissimus lumborum muscle and lipid oxidation in blood serum. At 60 days of age 12 rams were slaughtered as suckling lambs. The other 12 early weaned and fed according to standards by grass hay and concentrate, and slaughtered at 90 days of age. Suckling lambs had more polyunsaturated fatty acids ( P≤0.01) than early-weaned lambs. Younger lambs obtained also higher values of n-3 fatty acids ( P≤0.01) and lower n-6/n-3 ratio ( P≤0.01) appropriate in relation to their contribution to human health. Muscle tissue of early-weaned lambs compared to suckling group was characterised by significantly higher c9,t11C18:2 content ( P≤0.01), which is desirable in human diet with regard to its peculiarities. The higher amount ( P≤0.01) of vaccenic acid, which is the substrate for rumenic acid formation, has been observed in early-weaned lambs also.