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Can the trans-18:1 and conjugated linoleic acid profiles in retail ground beef be healthier than steak?

Aldai, N., Dugan, M.E.R., Kramer, J.K.G. (2010). Can the trans-18:1 and conjugated linoleic acid profiles in retail ground beef be healthier than steak?, 23(4), 326-332.


A seasonal survey of western Canadian retail ground beef was undertaken with emphasis on . trans fatty acid (trans-FA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomer profiles. Thirty lean ground beef samples were collected in the winter and summer from major grocery stores in Calgary (Alberta, Canada). The total fat content was affected by the collection period. Samples collected in summer had significantly higher fat content (14.4%) than samples collected during winter (12.4%; P< 0.01), but very few differences in fatty acid profile were observed on a percentage basis. The average n-6/n-3 ratio (3.17) was healthier than previously reported strip-loin steaks (backfat (5.81) and . longissiumus lumborum (6.01)). The average . trans-FA content in ground beef was 0.526. g/100. g serving size and 11. t-18:1 was the major . trans isomer representing 33% of total . trans-FA, and 10. t-18:1 was the second most abundant isomer. The 11. t-/10. t-ratio in ground beef was higher (average of 2.04) compared to values previously reported for strip-loin steaks (average of 0.65). The CLA content of ground beef was 0.63% and rumenic acid (RA, 9. c,11. t-18:2) represented 72% of total CLA isomers, which compared on average to 0.52% of total CLA, and 60% RA of total CLA isomers in the strip-loin. Overall, this study suggests that the n-6/n-3 ratio, . trans-18:1 and CLA profiles were healthier in ground beef than in strip-loin steaks collected one day in winter and one day in summer at the same retail outlets. Ground beef nonetheless still contains an inherently high level of total and saturated fat, and this has to be taken into consideration when evaluating its overall nutritional profile. © 2010.

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