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
1. FAO: Preparation of national strategies and action plans for animal genetic resources. FAO Animal Production and Health Guidelines No.2. 2009.
2. FAO: Breeding strategies for sustainable management of animal genetic resources. FAO Animal Production and Health Guidelines No.3. 2010.
3. FAO: In vivo conservation of animal genetic resources. FAO animal production and health guidelines No.14. 2013a.
4. FAO DAD IS: Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (FAO). 2012.
5. FAO: Phenotypic characterization of animal genetic resources, Animal Production and Health Guidelines No.11. 2012a.
6. FAO: Status and trends of animal genetic resources - 2012. Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. 2012b.
7. FAO: Report of a consultation on the definition of breed category. Intergover mental technical working group on animal genetic resources for food and agriculture. Item 5 of the Provisional Agenda. 2012c.
8. Hoffmann I: Climate change and the characterization, breeding and conservation of animal genetic resources. Anim Genet 2010, 41: 32-46.
9. Trailović R, Djedović R, Bogdanović V, Jovanović S, Ćinkulov M: Pramenka Breed Types of Serbia. In: Porcu K and Marković B (eds): Catalogue of West Balkan Pramenka Sheep Breed Types. Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Food, Skopje, 2006, 74-88.
10. Ćinkulov M, Popovski Z, Porcu K, Tanaskovska B, Hodžić A, Bytyqi H, Mehmeti H, Margeta V, Djedović R, Hoda A, Trailović R, et al.: Genetic diversity and structure of the West Balkan Pramenka sheep types as revealed by microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA analyses. J Anim Breed Genet 2008, 125: 417-426.
11. Savić M, Trailović R, Petrujkić B, Bečkei Ž, Dimitrijević V, Dimitrijević B: Determining the value of Vlashko Vitoroga Zackel sheep for conservation process., Acta Vet-Beograd 2013, 63: 621-631.
12. FAO: Draft guidelines on in vivo conservation of animal commission on genetic resources for food and agriculture. Item 4.2 of the Provisional Agenda Fourteenth Regular Session. 2013b.
13. Dimitrijević B, Borozan S, Jović S, Bacić D, Katić Radivojević S, Stojanović S, Savić M: The effect of the intensity of parasitic infection with Strongyloides papillosus and albendazole therapy on biochemical parametars in sheep blood. Acta Vet-Beograd 2013, 63: 581-601.
14. Popović-Vranješ A, Savić M, Pejanović R, Jovanović S, Krajinović G: The effect of organic milk production on certain milk quality parameters. Acta Vet-Beograd 2011, 61: 415-421.
15. Schmid A, Collomb M, Sieber R, Bee G: Conjugated linoleic acid in meat and meat products. Meat Sci 2006, 73: 29-41.
16. Terré M, Nudda A, Boe F, Gaias G, Bach A: Performance, immune response and fatty acid profile in lambs supplemented with a CLA-mixture. J Anim Feed Sci Techn 2011, 165: 1-7.
17. Enser M, Hallett KG, Hewett B, Fursey GA, Wood JD, Harrington G: Fatty acid content and composition of UK beef and lamb muscle in relation to production system and implications for human nutrition. Meat Sci 1998, 49: 329-341.
18. Nudda A, McGuire MK, Battacone G, Manca MG, Boe R, Pulina G: Documentation of fatty acid profiles in lamb meat and lamb-based infant foods. J Food Sci 2011, 76: H43-47.
19. Kawęcka A, Krupiński J: Sheep in the Polish carpathians: Genetic resources conservation of the podhale Zackel and coloured mountain sheep. Geomat Landmanag Landsc 2014, 1: 35-45.
20. Gavojdian D, Cziszter L, Sossidou E, Pacala N: Improving performance of Zackel sheep through cross-breeding with prolific Bluefaced Leicester under semi-intensive and extensive production systems. J Appl Anim Res 2013, 41: 432-441.
21. Ramírez-Retamal J, Molares R, Martinez E, de la Barra R: Effect of the type of pasture on the meat characteristics of Chilote lambs. Food Nutrit Sci 2014, 5: 635-644.
22. Ghita E, Lazar C, Pelmus R, Voicu I: Comparative research on the aptitudes for meat production of the fattening lambs of local Romanian breeds. Biotechnology in Animal Husbandry 2010, 26: 13-20.
23. Radzik-Rant A, Rant W, Rozbicka-Wieczorek A, Kuźnicka E: The fatty acid composition of longissimus lumborum muscle of suckling and early weaned dual-purpose wool/meat lambs. Archiv Tierzucht 2012, 3: 285-293.
24. Demirel G, Ozpinar H, Nazil B, Keser O: Fatty acids of lamb meat from two breeds fed different forage: concentrate ratio. Meat Sci 2006, 72: 229-235.
25. Scerra M, Luciano G, Caparra P, Foti F, Cilione C, Giorgi A, Scerra V: Influence of stall finishing duration of Italian merino lambs raised on pasture on intramuscular fatty acid composition. Meat Sci 2011, 89: 238- 242.
26. Grdović S, Savić M, Jovanović S, Popović-Vraneš, Petrujkić B, Bosančić D: The Analysis of Forage Quality for Organic Milk Production in Fruška Gora Region. Acta Vet-Beograd 2010, 60: 425-433.
27. Grdović S, Savić M, Bečkei Ž, Dimitrijević B: Biodiversity and traditional sheep grazing in the South Banat region. Acta Vet-Beograd 2012, 62: 709-716.