Murat production characteristics of Turkish native breeds: II. meat quality, fatty acid, and cholesterol profile of lambs
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The study conducted a comparison of meat quality, fatty acid profile, and cholesterol amounts of longissimus dorsi (LD) and semitendinosus (ST) muscles of male lambs born to Turkish indigenous sheep breeds raised under intensive conditions. A total of 36 singleton male lambs were used as experimental animals of the Akkaraman (A), Morkaraman (M), Awassi (IW), Karayaka (KR), Kivircik (KV), and Middle Anatolian Merino (MAM) pure breeds. All lambs were fed the same diet until they reached a target weight of 40 kg weight. After the feeding period, all lambs were slaughtered and LD and ST muscle samples were collected to determine meat quality traits, fatty acid profile, and cholesterol amounts. Although there were no significant differences between lambs in terms of the fatty acid profile of LD and ST muscles, KR lambs had a higher cholesterol content in both muscles in comparison with the lambs born to other breeds (p < 0.05). While water-holding capacity, dripping loss, pH, color, dry matter, ash, and intramuscular fat values of ST muscles showed differences among breeds (p < 0.05), dripping loss, pH, cooking loss, color, dry matter, ash, protein, and intramuscular fat values of LD muscles differed between breeds (p < 0.05). The data of the current study indicated that meat quality characteristics and cholesterol contents of Turkish indigenous breeds showed differences, and these differences may be used for alternative lamb meat production for the consumer.