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Research article2001Peer reviewed

Fatty acid composition of M-longissimus lumborum, ultimate muscle pH values and carcass parameters in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L) grazed on natural pasture or fed a commercial feed mixture

Sampels, Sabine; Wiklund, Eva; Pickova, Jana; Lundström, Kerstin


The effects of feeding regimen on the fatty acid composition of M. longissimus, ultimate pH values in three muscles (Mm. longissimus, triceps brachii and biceps femoris) and carcass quality were studied in15 reindeer bulls. Nine animals came from natural pasture and six had been fed a pelleted commercial feed mixture for two months prior to slaughter. The pellet fed reindeer had significantly better carcass grading scores (EUROP conformation), higher trim fat content, more intramuscular fat and lower ultimate pH values in all three muscles than the group from pasture. The polar and neutral lipid fatty acid composition of the meat was analysed separately. Meat from pasture fed reindeer showed a high content of the fatty acid 18:3 n-3 in the polar lipid fraction. In the same lipid fraction, the fatty acid 18:2 n-6 was dominant in meat from the pellet fed animals. Similar differences in the neutral lipid fraction were found when comparing fatty acid composition between treatment groups, however the abundance of these fatty acids was much less. The present results confirm previous findings that reindeer fed typical pelleted commercial feed mixtures generally have an improved nutritional status.

Published in

Meat Science
2001, Volume: 58, number: 3, pages: 293 - 298