Journal article

Health beneficial long chain omega-3 fatty acid levels in Australian lamb managed under extensive finishing systems

Eric N Ponnampalam, Kym L Butler, Robin H Jacob, David W Pethick, Alex J Ball, Janelle E Hocking Edwards, Geert Geesink, David L Hopkins



The variation in levels of the health claimable long chain omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) across production regions of Australia was studied in 5726 lambs over 3 years completed in 87 slaughter groups. The median level of EPA plus DHA differed dramatically between locations and sometimes between slaughters from the same location. The ratio of EPA plus DHA from lambs with high values (97.5% quantile) to lambs with low values (2.5% quantile) also differed dramatically between locations, and between slaughters from the same location. Consistency between years, at a location, was less for the high to low value ratio of EPA plus ..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The CRC for Sheep Industry Innovation is supported by the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centres Program, Australian Wool Innovation Ltd. and Meat & Livestock Australia. Considerable staff and resources are also provided by the parties at each site for the INF: NSW Department of Primary Industries, University of New England, Department of Primary Industries Victoria, SA Research & Development Institute and the Department of Agriculture and Food WA. The Meat program also benefits from the contribution of staff employed by CSIRO and Murdoch University. The authors would like to thank the scientific direction and technical support provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia (Gerard Smith, and Maeve Harvey), CSIRO in Western Australia (Soressa Kitessa, Paul Young). Matthew Kerr and David Allen from the Department of Primary Industries in Victoria assisted with the methodology development and analysis of fatty acid levels in meat.