The effect of straw on the fatty acid composition and sensory aspects of the longissimus muscle was analysed in 24 entire Rasa Aragonesa male lambs (weaned at 45 days) housed for 28 days in two pens (0.90m2 per lamb, initial weight 17.7±0.70kg) until reaching 88 days of age. One group received wheat straw for bedding and forage, whilst the other group had none. Instrumental meat quality variables were similar in both treatments (P 0.05). Lambs with straw bedding presented a higher proportion of C18:0, whereas lambs without straw presented a higher proportion of C15:0 and C17:1 (P≤0.05), which might indicate a ruminal change. Of the 11 sensory attributes evaluated, none were significantly affected by treatment (P 0.05). However, overall liking tended to be higher for meat from the lambs with straw than without straw (P=0.09). The results from this study suggest that the deprivation of wheat straw during the fattening period has a slight effect on the variables analysed and that the lack of straw does not negatively affect the meat quality.
- Meat quality
- Rasa aragonesa