The objective in this study was to investigate the effects of genotype (breed) on the chemical composition and the fatty acid profile in the longissimus dorsi muscle of feedlot ewe lambs. Thirty-six ewe lambs were assigned to a randomized complete block design with the following genotypes: Santa Inês (SI), Ile de France (IF), Ile de France × Santa Inês (IF × SI), Dorper × Santa Inês (DO × SI), Texel × Santa Inês (TE × SI) and Suffolk × Santa Inês (SU × SI). Blocks were defined by initial weight and age. Genotype did not affect moisture, ash or protein content of the longissimus dorsi. Meat from SI and SU × SI ewe lambs showed less fat compared with IF and IF × SI. Oleic (C18:1cis), palmitic (C16:0), and stearic (C18:0) were the fatty acids found in largest amounts in the intramuscular fat in this study. The genetic group IF × SI showed smaller ratio between polyunsatured fatty acid (PUFA) and saturated fatty acid (SFA) when compared with SI and SU × SI ewe lambs. Santa Inês and Suffolk × Santa Inês crossbred animals showed potential to produce meat with higher nutritional value due to lower fat content and better ratio between polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
conjugated linoleic acid; crossbred; longissimus dorsi; Santa Inês