Degummed crude canola oil, sire breed and gender effects on intramuscular long-chain omega-3 fatty acid properties of raw and cooked lamb meat
Meat intramuscular fat (IMF) contributes to meat quality and consumer acceptance. Molecular events that occur during IMF deposition and the identification of genes that are differentially expressed during this process are important to the design of an optimal nutrition plan for animals. In the present study, we examined the effect of the forage type (grazing vs. hay pasture) fed to ewes and the effect of lamb sex on the LM fatty acid (FA) profile and gene expression of suckling lambs (10 to 12 kg of BW at slaughter); ewes received pasture hay (PH) or grazed pasture (GRE). Forage type had a significant effect on IMF FA profile. Ewes grazing green forage (GRE) promoted the formation and deposition of vaccenic acid (C18:1n-7), CLA, and PUFA n-3 in LM from their suckling lambs (P < 0.05). We found that forage type affected the expression of the sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 (SREBF1) gene in females. However, in males, it modulated stearoyl CoA desaturase (SCD) gene expression (P < 0.05). Moreover, our results showed that females, independent of the diet of the ewes (PH or GRE), are predisposed to develop fat and to upregulate the expression of key genes of transcriptional factors PPARA, CEBPB, SREBF1, and lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and SCD (P < 0.05). The data suggest that SREBF1, SCD, and most likely CEBPB gene expression in young suckling lambs is modulated by both lamb sex and forage type fed to ewes. Fatty acid indicators PUFA, n-6/n-3, CLA, and SFA are closely related to LPL, SCD, PPARA, and CEBPB gene expression depending on animal sex or the diet of ewes. This study suggests that grazing pasture affects FA composition promoting greater vaccenic, CLA, and total PUFA n-3 FA in female and male suckling lambs, and it is mediated through the regulation of lipogenic enzyme expression.