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Title: Contribution of meat (beef and lamb) from grass-fed ruminants to total dietary intake of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
Author: McAfee, Alison J.
ISNI:       0000 0003 6966 7367
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2009
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The potential of red meat, particularly that produced from grass-fed animals, to contribute to dietary intakes of long chain (LC) n-3 PUF A has become the focus of recent research. However, there remains little information on precise quantities of these fatty acids found in commercially produced red meat, the use of grass finishing diets by producers, or the ability of red meat produced from grass feeding regimes to contribute to LCn-3 PUF A intakes or status in consumers, especially in the UK and Ireland. Extensive fatty acid data were measured for beef and lamb produced in Northern Ireland over a 12 month period and the frequency of a grass diet being offered to animals before slaughter was determined by a survey carried out among a sample of beef and lamb producers. To investigate the effect of consumption of red meat produced from grass-fed animals on LCn-3 PUF A status, a human intervention study was carried out among healthy subjects. In addition, the potential for red meat produced from grass-fed animals to contribute to LCn-3 PUF A intakes in the Irish population was hypothetically assessed based on current intakes of meat. Beef and lamb were reported to contain concentrations ofLCn-3 PUFA similar to levels achieved with grass feeding by other studies. The season of slaughter and, to a lesser extent, the reported finishing diet of the animal were found to cause variation in concentrations ofLCn-3 PUFA and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) found in beef and lamb. The survey revealed that grass finishing diets are commonly offered to animals by producers of beef and lamb, but the frequency of these diets also varied by season. In the human intervention study, consumption of red meat from grass-fed animals was associated with significantly increased plasma and platelet LCn-3 PUF A status among healthy subjects. Based on red meat consumed in the Irish diet being from grass-fed animals, the provision of red meat to LCn-3 PUF A intakes would be modestly increased than if meat consumed were from concentrate-fed animals. In conclusion, the production of red meat from grass-fed animals will contribute to increased LCn-3 PUF A intakes and status among Irish consumers, where red meat is habitually consumed. Further research is warranted to investigate the opportunity to further enhance concentrations ofLCn-3 PUF A within red meat by increased use of grass feeding regimes in beef and lamb production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available