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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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Sian B MacKintosh
  • Ian Richardson
  • Eun Joong Kim
  • Dirk Dannenberger
  • Didier Coulmier
  • Nigel Scollan
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalMeat Science
Early online date8 Apr 2017
DateAccepted/In press - 30 Mar 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2017
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2017


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.

    Research areas

  • Beef, PUFA, Lucerne, Forage, Biohydrogenation

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 921 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-NC-ND


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