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The objective of this study was to determine the content of fatty acids (FAs) in the intramuscular fat of heavy lambs of two breeds: Berrichon du Cher (BE) and Suffolk (SF) in a semi-intensive production system with different nutrition management schemes applied (SI1 and SI2) using gas chromatography. Nutrition differed mainly in a short period before the slaughter: BE/SI1 lambs were fed with hay and concentrates, SF/SI2 lambs grazed and suckled a milk. The samples were taken from the Musculus longissimus dorsi and the analysis of variance with factors of breed/production system (BE/SI1, SF/SI2) and lamb sex (males, females) was used to study the differences in FAs. The content of essential FAs, linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid summed, was higher in SF/SI2 lambs (6.26 g.100 g-1 FAME); this significantly (P < 0.001) differed from BE/SI1 lambs (4.64 g.100 g-1 FAME). The contents of health beneficial FAs (arachidonic, eicosapentaeonic, docosapentaeonic, docosahexaenoic acids) were also higher in SF/SI2 lambs (2.00, 0.59, 0.83, 0.27 g.100 g-1 FAME) and significantly (P < 0.001) differed from BE/SI1 lambs (1.15, 0.30, 0.44, 0.13 g.100 g-1 FAME). The content of conjugated linoleic acid (health beneficial FA as well) was 1.67 g.100 g-1 FAME in SF/SI2 lambs and 1.07 g.100 g-1 FAME in BE/SI1lambs (P < 0.001). The ratio of n-6/n-3 polyunsaturated FAs agreed, whilst the ratio of polyunsaturated/saturated FAs did not agree with the recommended values (found better in SF/SI2 lambs).
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