Innovations in beef production systems that enhance the nutritional and health value of beef lipids and their relationship with meat quality (review)

Nigel D. Scollan, J. F. Hocquette, Karin Nuernberg, Dirk Dannenberger, R. Ian Richardson, Adrian P. Moloney

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

679 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Consumers are becoming more aware of the relationships between diet and health and this has increased consumer interest in the nutritional value of foods. This is impacting on the demand for foods which contain functional components that play important roles in health maintenance and disease prevention. For beef, much attention has been given to lipids. This paper reviews strategies for increasing the content of beneficial omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and reducing saturated fatty acids (SFA) in beef. Particular attention is given to intramuscular fat (IMF) and the relationships between fatty acid composition and key meat quality parameters including colour shelf life and sensory attributes. Despite the high levels of ruminal biohydrogenation of dietary PUFA, nutrition is the major route for increasing the content of beneficial fatty acids in beef. Feeding grass or concentrates containing linseed (rich in α-linolenic acid, 18:3n − 3) in the diet increases the content of 18:3n − 3 and its longer chain derivative eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n − 3) in beef muscle and adipose tissue, resulting in a lower n − 6:n − 3 ratio. Grass feeding also increases docasahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n − 3). Feeding PUFA rich lipids which are protected from ruminal biohydrogenation result in further enhancement of the PUFA in meat with concomitant beneficial improvements in the ratio of polyunsaturated:saturated fatty acids (P:S ratio) and n − 6:n − 3 ratio. The main CLA isomer in beef is CLA cis-9, trans-11 and it is mainly associated with the triacylglycerol lipid fraction and therefore is positively correlated with level of fatness. The level of CLA cis-9, trans-11 in beef is related to (1) the amount of this isomer produced in the rumen and (2) synthesis in the tissue, by delta-9 desaturase, from ruminally produced trans vaccenic acid (18:1 trans-11; TVA). Feeding PUFA-rich diets increases the content of CLA cis-9, trans-11 in beef. Trans-fatty acids in foods are of rising importance and knowledge of the differential effects of the individual trans isomers is increasing. TVA is the major trans 18:1 isomer in beef and as the precursor for tissue CLA in both animals and man should be considered as a neutral or beneficial trans-isomer. Increasing the content of n − 3 PUFA in beef can influence colour shelf life and sensory attributes of the meat. As the content of n − 3 PUFA increases then sensory attributes such as “greasy” and “fishy” score higher and colour shelf life may be reduced. Under these situations, high levels of vitamin E are necessary to help stabilise the effects of incorporating high levels of long chain PUFA into meat. However, grass feeding not only increases n − 3 PUFA and CLA but, due to its high content of vitamin E, colour shelf life is improved. It is evident that opportunities exist to enhance the content of health promoting fatty acids in beef and beef products offering opportunities to add value and contribute to market differentiation. However, it is imperative that these approaches to deliver “functional” attributes do not compromise on the health value (lipoperoxidation) or the taste of beef products.
Original languageEnglish
Pages17-33
Number of pages17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2006
Event52nd International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (52nd ICoMST) - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 13 Aug 200618 Aug 2006

Conference

Conference52nd International Congress of Meat Science and Technology (52nd ICoMST)
Country/TerritoryIreland
CityDublin
Period13 Aug 200618 Aug 2006

Keywords

  • beef
  • nutrition
  • meat quality
  • fatty acids
  • health

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