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Comparison of the meat and carcass quality of lambs raised in organic or conventional production systems.

PRACHE, S. ; BALLET, J. ; JAILLER, R. ; METEAU, K. ; PICARD, B. ; RENERRE, M. and BAUCHART, D. (2009) Comparison of the meat and carcass quality of lambs raised in organic or conventional production systems. [Comparaison des qualités de la viande et de la carcasse d’agneaux produits en élevage biologique ou conventionnel.] Carrefours de l'Innovation Agronomique, 4, pp. 289-296.

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Online at: http://www.inra.fr/ciag/revue_innovations_agronomiques/volume_4_janvier_2009


The ‘organic’ label on a product guarantees that synthetic fertilisers, pesticides and hormones are not used in the production process and that the use of pharmaceutical products and drugs is limited. However, product quality is often questioned and we have to anticipate the consumer demand for product quality guarantees. This study was conducted to compare the sensory and nutritional meat and carcass qualities of lambs raised under an organic (O) or a conventional (C) production system. Comparisons were made with both pasture-fed lambs and lambs that were stall-fed indoors with concentrate and hay. The experiment was conducted over two years for stall-fed lambs (S) (group O, n=24; group C, n=24) and three years for pasture-fed lambs (P) (group O, n=36; group C, n=36). For P lambs, O and C production systems differed in terms of the level of mineral N fertilisation of the pasture. For S lambs, the feed was organic vs. conventional, and the ingredients of O and C concentrates were the same. The nutritional quality of the meat (longissimus dorsi) was assessed in terms of its fatty acid (FA) composition, and the sensory quality of the loin chop was assessed by a trained sensory panel. In stall-fed lambs, the health value of meat FA for human consumption was higher in the O group than in the C group, but there was no difference in the sensory quality of the meat and the carcass between the O and C groups. In pasture-fed lambs, there were no significant differences between the O and C groups in terms of the health value of meat FA. However, in pasture-fed lambs, the loin chops had a higher level of abnormal odour of the fat in the organic than in the conventional group, probably due to a higher proportion of white clover in the diet.

Summary translation

Cette étude a comparé les qualités de la viande et de la carcasse d’agneaux produits en élevage biologique (AB) ou conventionnel (C). L’expérimentation a été conduite pendant 2 ans pour les agneaux de bergerie (B) (lot AB n=24 ; lot C n=24), et 3 ans pour les agneaux d’herbe (H) (lot AB n=36 ; lot C n=36). Pour les agneaux H, les modes de production AB et C différaient par le niveau de fertilisation minérale sur la prairie; pour les agneaux B, les aliments étaient issus de l’agriculture soit biologique, soit conventionnelle, les concentrés AB et C étant constitués des mêmes matières premières. Pour les agneaux de bergerie, le mode de production AB comparé à C a amélioré la valeur santé des acides gras (AG) de la viande pour l’homme, sans différences pour les qualités bouchères et sensorielles de la viande et de la carcasse. Pour les agneaux d’herbe, la valeur santé des AG déposés dans la viande a été similaire entre AB et C; cependant, les côtelettes AB ont présenté une odeur anormale de leur gras plus élevée que les côtelettes C, résultat probablement dû à une proportion plus importante de trèfle blanc dans la ration.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:organic farming; lamb; meat; carcass; quality; fatty acids; production system.
Subjects: Food systems > Food security, food quality and human health
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Animal husbandry > Production systems
Research affiliation: France > INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Related Links:http://www1.montpellier.inra.fr/dinabio/
Deposited By: PENVERN, Servane
ID Code:15495
Deposited On:02 Mar 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:French/Francais
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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