Developing Beef With Health Benefits

UK - A NEW £1million research programme being co-ordinated by the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, at Aberystwyth, and involving researchers at the Universities of Nottingham and Bristol, could impact positively on cardiovascular disease and have important community health benefits.
calendar icon 23 November 2007
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The Government and industry funded five-year programme will be looking at developing the potential of perennial ryegrass to deliver a higher content of omega-3 rich polyunsaturated fatty acids into the beef animal and ultimately to consumers.

It should also benefit beef producers as UK consumption of beef and veal continues to rise, reaching 1,064,000 tonnes in 2005, the last full year for which figures are available, with a total retail and food service value in excess of £5.6 billion.

According to IGER’s Professor Nigel Scollan, plant-based strategies were the most appropriate and sustainable approach to increasing beef’s omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids content.

“Grass feeding not only enhances the content of beneficial omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the meat, but it also delivers other useful components such as antioxidants, vitamin E and carotenoids and the derivatives of pigments such as chlorophyll which help to improve colour, shelf life, and taste of the meat,” he says.

“A unique element of the project will be to assess the impact of enriching the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content of beef on atherosclerosis.

Source: Farmers Guardian
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