Research looking to develop heart-smart lamb

Saturated fats are detrimental to human health, hence the increasing interest in the search for meat with high unsaturated fat content.

Fat hardness, determined by its melting point temperature, can be used to define saturation level. Soft fats exhibit comparatively lower melting points than hard fats, indicating greater unsaturated fatty acid content. 

A study undertaken by Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture researchers assessed dietary degummed crude canola oil (DCCO) supplementation effects on the melting points of visceral (around the kidney) and subcutaneous (just under the skin) fat depots in genetically divergent prime lambs.

Results indicated that the addition of DCCO in the diet produced softer fats with lower melting points in prime lambs.  In other words, a high unsaturated fatty acids content that is beneficial for human health. 

The research team is undertaking further analysis of the results to unravel the fatty acid compositions of adipose and muscle tissues of lambs supplemented with DCCO. 

Consumer responses to eating qualities of these meats is also being examined.


Aaron Ross Flakemore, Peter David McEvoy, Razaq Oladimeji Balogun, Bunmi Sherifat Malau-Aduli, Peter Nichols, Aduli Enoch Othniel Malau-Aduli. Degummed Crude Canola Oil Supplementation Affects Fat Depot Melting Points in Purebred and First-Cross Merino Sheep. Animal and Veterinary Sciences. Vol. 2, No. 3, 2014, pp. 75-80. doi: 10.11648/j.avs.20140203.14

Published on: 03 Aug 2015 9:44am