Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Producing lamb’s meat with low fat content


Reducing the amount of fat in lamb amongst the Navarra variety of sheep in order to breed weightier animals, suitable for market demands and with a lower production cost for the farmer, is the aim of the project being developed by a research team from Navarre Public University’s Department of Agricultural Production and Department of Health Sciences.

The Navarre breed – previously known as Rasa Aragonesa – is found in the midlands region of Navarre and the extensive Ebro river basin region in the same territory. This ovine breed has some 420,000 heads which are basically given over to the production of “ternasco” meat type of lambs, slaughtered at three months when they are about 23-25 kilos of live weight.

The fundamental reason why these lambs are slaughtered at an early age (with corresponding low weights) is to avoid an excessive fatty state which, on the one hand, increases the cost of the feeding and fattening process and, on the other, puts a brake on the sale and consumption of dressed carcasses, due to high fat content and strong ovine taste.

In fact, the need to respond to the demand for meat with low fat content has given rise to the development of methods for reducing fat levels in animals in such a way that slaughter at higher weights and with less production costs is favoured. Particularly notable amongst these methods is diet changes for the lambs and hormone administration.

Specifically, the research team at the Navarre Public University is analysing the effect on the development of fatty tissue in lambs of two substances which are common ingredients in their diet: vitamin A (retinol) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The project is due to end in 2006.

Anti-cancerous substance

One of the main aims of this project is to modulate the quantity of fat accumulated in the animal through the regulation of adipogenesis or the process by which fat is deposited in different parts of the body. The investigation into “Animal Production and Meat Quality and Technology" at the Navarre Public University, which involves a number of researchers from this project, has been concentrating precisely on this process for more than ten years.

Thus, the effect on the deposition of fat in animals of vitamin A and CLA, two natural substances found fundamentally in vegetables, was investigated. The starting hypothesis is that these substances diminish fat deposition, i.e. the development of adipocytes, but the concentrations of these substances have to be known in order to obtain the desired results.

It has been discovered that CLA is, moreover, an anti-cancerous substance. In fact, as professor Arana Navarro explains, experiments are being carried out to augment the content of this element in the animal-based foodstuffs in the diet such as, for example, milk: The more grass or forage the animals eat, the more CLA in their milk and, so, the more benefit to humans. Thus, on administering CLA directly to live lambs, a double benefit can be obtained: apart from reducing the quantity of fat, the fat that is incorporated contains a higher amount of this anti-cancerous substance.

The study will be carried out firstly in vitro, as the study on live animals is more complex and onerous. Amongst the techniques to be used, cell cultures is particularly notable, permitting summarising the adipogenesis process and investigating to see if the differences between sexes, breeds and fatty deposits are due to intrinsic cellular differences or to external factors affecting these.

Iñaki Casado Redin | Basque research
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>