Evaluation of Zackel Lamb Meat Quality with the Aim of Increasing the Conservation Value of the Breed

Open access

Abstract

The objective of the study was to perform and evaluate the advanced phenotypic characterization of endangered Zackel sheep types, especially their productive potential and meat quality traits. Meat quality characteristics (m. longissimus dorsi) were evaluated in lambs of three types of autochthonous Zackel sheep: Sjenica sheep, Lipe sheep and Vlashko Vitoroga sheep, reared in traditional habitats in a sustainable management system. For the evaluation of sensory characteristics of lamb meat, quantitative descriptive analysis was performed according to ISO 6564:1985, i.e. structural intensity scale of seven points. All Zackel meat samples had an overall acceptability, the most favorable being in Sjenica sheep, with detected differences between Sjenica and Vlashko Vitoroga sheep (p<0.01), as well as between Lipe and Vlashko Vitoroga sheep (p<0.05). For the determination of fatty acids profile the prepared samples were analyzed using gas chromatography. The results showed that all tested lamb meat samples contain favorable amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The average content of conjugated linoleic acid was higher in Sjenica lamb meat compared with Lipe lamb meat, and the difference was significant (p<0.01). It is also shown that examined samples of Sjenica, Lipe and Vlashko Vitoroga lambs, compared to many other exotic and local breeds, were characterized by preferable values of n-6:n-3 fatty acid ratio. Polyunsaturated fatty acid n-6:n−3 ratio difference between tested Zackel types was not significant. The favorable fatty acid profile, important for human health and especially for infant and children nutrition, raises the interest for sustainable production and conservation of Zackel sheep

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Acta Veterinaria

The Journal of University of Belgrade

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CiteScore 2016: 0.65

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.388
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.605

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