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.
MacKintosh, S. B., Richardson, I., Kim, E. J., Dannenberger, D., Coulmier, D., & Scollan, N. (2017). 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. Meat Science, 130, 69-80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.meatsci.2017.03.011