Oral Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Muscle vitamin E and retail colour of meat from lambs fed lucerne or grain-based diets at two antioxidant levels (355)

Gianluca Baldi 1 2 , Surinder Chauhan 3 , Frank Dunshea 3 , David Hopkins 4 , Nick Linden 1 , Eric Ponnampalam 1 3
  1. Agriculture Research and Development, DEDJTR , Attwood, Victoria, Australia
  2. Dept. of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  3. Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, , The University of Melbourne , Parlville, Victoria, Australia
  4. NSW DPI , Cowra, NSW, Australia

Background/Aims: Muscle antioxidant status and meat colour can be affected by nutritional background. This study aimed to compare the effect of 3 different diets on muscle vitamin E (vitE) concentration and the retail colour of meat given the importance of colour to consumers.

Methods:Lambs (n = 41) were fed for 8 weeks either a lucerne-based diet (37 mg/kg of vitE) or a grain-based control (CON; 42 mg/kg of vitE) or supranutritional vitE (SUP; 285 mg/kg of vitE) diet. Loin muscle samples were assessed for vitE and retail colour. Data was analysed using the REML and MANOVA procedures.

Results: Lambs fed the SUP diet had a higher muscle vitE concentration (5.1 mg/100 g meat; p < 0.001, SED = 0.44) compared to CON (2.5 mg) or LUC (3.4 mg). A MANOVA of the 3 dimensional colour attributes L*, a* and b* found that meat from the lambs fed LUC was redder (higher a*) and lighter (higher L*) than meat from lambs fed CON or SUP (p = 0.016). After 4 days of retail display redness (a*) of the loin for the LUC fed lambs tended to be higher (p = 0.08) than loin from the other groups.

Conclusions: Although the SUP group had greater muscle vitE status, the lucerne-based diet maintained retail colour of meat better than the vitE supplemented grain-based diet. It seems bioavailability of vitE or other antioxidants was greater for lambs fed the lucerne-based diet.

Funding source(s): Australian Meat Processor Corporation and Victorian Government (DEDJTR).