Impact of Brassica and Lucerne Finishing Feeds and Intramuscular Fat on Lamb Eating Quality and Flavor. A Cross-Cultural Study Using Chinese and Non-Chinese Australian Consumers.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

PubMedID: 27523884

Frank DC, Watkins P, Ball A, Krishnamurthy R, Piyasiri U, Sewell J, Ortuño J, Stark J, Warner R. Impact of Brassica and Lucerne Finishing Feeds and Intramuscular Fat on Lamb Eating Quality and Flavor. A Cross-Cultural Study Using Chinese and Non-Chinese Australian Consumers. J Agric Food Chem. 2016;.
Use of forage brassicas (Brassica napus) and lucerne (alfalfa; Medicago sativa) as ruminant feeds has been linked to unacceptable flavors in sheepmeat. Lambs from low and high intramuscular fat sires were allocated to one of four finishing feeds-perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), lucerne, and two brassica forages-for a 6 week period. Grilled loins (Longissimus thoracis et lumborum) were subjected to chemical and sensory analysis by a trained panel and also evaluated by non-Chinese and Chinese background Australian consumers. Consumer liking was similar for both groups, and liking was highest for the brassica- and lucerne-finished lamb, especially from high intramuscular fat sires. No evidence of a distinctive lucerne- or brassica-induced flavor taint was measured by the trained panel or gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-olfactometry. The diets influenced the composition of lipids and branched-chain fatty acids in the subcutaneous fat, and the concentration of total branched-chain fatty acids was positively correlated with flavor and overall liking. Significantly higher levels of key aroma volatiles were measured in the higher fat samples.