Archives Animal Breeding (2020-12-01)

Fatty acids, health lipid indices, and cholesterol content of sheep meat of three breeds from Moroccan pastures

  • K. Belhaj,
  • K. Belhaj,
  • F. Mansouri,
  • A. Benmoumen,
  • M. Sindic,
  • M.-L. Fauconnier,
  • M. Boukharta,
  • C. H. Serghini,
  • A. Elamrani

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 63
pp. 471 – 482


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The lipid analysis of commercial lamb's meat, from two main Moroccan production areas Middle Atlas and highlands of eastern Morocco, was conducted. This study concerns the lipid quality of sheep meat from Beni Guil (BG) and Timahdite (Ti) as indigenous breeds and that of the Ouled Djellal (ODj) breed of Algerian origin. To study the effect of the geographical area, the meat samples from the Beni Guil breed were taken in the two main locations of this breed: in the region of Ain Beni Mathar (BGA) and that of Tendrara (BGT). The fatty acid profiles of the sheep meats analyzed showed the following: (i) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) richness was of 12.87 % and 20.59 % respectively for BGA and BGT breeds; (ii) polyunsaturated ∕ saturated fatty acid ratios were ranged between 0.28 to 0.50 respectively for BGA and Ti breed; and (iii) PUFA-n−3 content was 1.71 % for ODj breed and 2.13 % for BGA. Thus, the PUFA-n−6 ∕ PUFA n−3 ratios range between 4.92 and 9.6 for BGA and Ti sheep meat, respectively. The cholesterol content was 0.08 % and 0.12 % of fresh meat respectively for ODj and BGA. Finally, meats of BGA and ODj have similar thrombogenicity (1.23 and 1.27 respectively) and atherogenicity indices (0.71 and 0.68 respectively). Statistically, these values were significantly higher than those registered for Ti breed (IT: 1.04 and AI: 0.51). In conclusion, from a nutritional point of view, it can be deduced that these meats have an interesting lipid quality due to their richness in desirable fatty acid (UFA + C18 : 0).