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Fatty acid composition of lamb fat depots as an origin discriminator.

Juárez, M., Ibáñez, A.H., Aldea, M.J.A., and Aldai, N. (2010). "Fatty acid composition of lamb fat depots as an origin discriminator.", Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 8(4), pp. 976-980.


The development of quality labels for different lamb meats makes necessary to implement analytical methodologies to guarantee consumers the origin of the products. Eighty single birth male lambs from five Southern Spain sheep breeds (Grazalema Merino, Churra Lebrijana, Spanish Merino, Montesina and Segureña) were selected for the study and fed according to their traditional production system (with or without weaning). The fatty acid composition of five different depots (intramuscular, intermuscular, subcutaneous, omental and kidney knob) was analyzed by gas chromatography, showing a high variability among lamb types. The lipid profile of single fat depots was not able to assign 100% of the carcasses to their origin, but using the information from two depots (including intramuscular, or combining an external and an internal fat depot) led to a reliability of 100%. Any combination of 3, 4 or 5 depots also obtained 100% correct discrimination.

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