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Prime Australian lamb supplies key nutrients for human health

Pannier, L., Ponnampalam, E.N., Gardner, G.E.ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-9986, Hopkins, D.L., Ball, A.J., Jacob, R.H., Pearce, K.L. and Pethick, D.W.ORCID: 0000-0002-3255-7677 (2010) Prime Australian lamb supplies key nutrients for human health. Animal Production Science, 50 (12). pp. 1115-1122.

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This study investigated genetic and non-genetic factors affecting the iron, zinc and omega-3 fatty acid levels of fresh lamb meat. Results from the 2007 progeny of the Australian Sheep Industry Cooperative Research Centre Information Nucleus flock, similar to 2000 lambs, are presented here. The average level of iron and zinc in lamb muscle was 2.05 and 2.31 mg/100 g, respectively. The iron level was 103% of that required to claim lamb as a 'good source' of iron for men of all ages and women older than 50 years, and the average level of zinc was 116% of that required to claim lamb as a 'good source' of zinc for women, but was insufficient for a 'good source' claim for men. The iron and zinc content of muscle were affected (P < 0.001) by age at slaughter, sex, site at which the lambs were reared, and sire (independent of breed). Lambs from all sites reached the 'source' claim for iron for all adults and lambs from all sites, expect lambs from the Cowra and Hamilton sites, had greater iron levels than that required for a 'good source' claim for men and women over 50 years old. For zinc, all sites reached the 'source' and 'good source' claim for men and women, respectively. The major sources of variation in omega-3 fatty acid levels were site and kill group within site (P < 0.001), most likely reflecting nutritional differences associated with the availability of green feed. The eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid values for all sites indicated that lambs from the Cowra, Rutherglen and Struan sites had adequate levels for a 'source' claim of omega-3. The overall average level of eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid in lamb meat was 23.5 mg/100 g, which is higher than the level required to claim lamb as a 'source' of omega-3. The effect of sire on omega-3 fatty acid level was small, but statistically significant (P < 0.001). These results confirm that lamb can represent a 'source' or 'good source' of these nutrients.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: (c) CSIRO
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