Effect of legume grains as a source of dietary protein on the quality of organic lamb meat

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BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the effects on lamb growth, carcass traits and meat quality of replacing conventionalsoybean meal in the diet with alternative legume grains.RESULTS: Twenty-eight male lambs of Comisana breed weighing 16.9 ± 2.7 kg at weaning (66 ± 6 days old) were assigned toone of four diets. Until slaughter at 129 ± 6 days of age, each group received ad libitum pelleted alfalfa hay and concentratesdiffering in the source of protein: chickpea, faba bean, pea or soybean meal. Lambs fed chickpea showed higher dry matterand protein intakes from concentrate than those fed soybean. Lambs’ growth, carcass weight and net dressing percentage didnot vary by protein source, although chickpea lambs had more perirenal and pelvic fat than those in the soybean group. Dietdid not affect chemical composition, colour, thawing and cooking losses, tenderness, and sensory properties of meat. Chickpeaincreased trans-vaccenic and linoleic acid, and chickpea and faba bean increased the isomers of conjugated linoleic acid.CONCLUSIONS: Legume grains can completely replace soybean meal in concentrate, resulting in lamb carcasses and meat ofcomparable quality. Chickpea leads to an increase in feed intake of lambs and in fat depots in the carcass, and a more beneficialfatty acid profile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2870-2875
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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