Effect of Slaughter Weight, Carcass Weight and Sex on the Carcass Fatty Acid Composition of Boutsiko Breed Lambs

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Animal Production, Technological Educational Institute of Larisa,41110, Larisa, Greece

2 Department of Animal Production, Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, 57400, Thessaloniki, Greece


The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of slaughter and carcass weight, age at slaughter and sex on the fatty acid profile of the Greek Boutsiko sheep breed. Twenty lambs (ten females and ten males) were examined. The lambs were slaughtered at the age of 48 days. Carcasses were chopped in nine specific cuts and a random sample of 100 g was taken from each cut, with a total of 180 samples. From every ground sample a quantity of 2 g was taken for lipid extraction and preparation of fatty acid methyl esters. To predict the relationship of age, sex and weight on saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) a path analysis was adopted which tests all regression equations simultaneously. Age at slaughter was assumed to have an indirect impact via slaughter weight and carcass weight. Findings suggest that the model which uses slaughter weight instead of carcass weight, predicts better the fatty acid composition of Boutsiko breed lambs. As to the nutritional quality of the meat, the PUFA / SFA ratio was found relatively low while the ratio ω-6/ω-3 PUFA, was acceptable for human healthy nutrition. The best fatty acid composition was found for leg, shoulder and racks. It was concluded that producers may increase the age of slaughter, but that should be combined with their engagement in low cost diet modifications so as to improve production and cost efficiency and at the same time retain the quality of lamb meat.


Arsenos G., Kufidis D., Zygoyiannis D., Katsaounis N. and Stamataris C. (2006). Fatty acid composition of lambs of indigenous dairy Greek breeds of sheep as affected by post-weaning nutritional management and weight at slaughter. Meat Sci. 73, 55-65.
Baron R.M. and Kenny D.A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. J. Person. Soc. Psych. 51, 1173-1182.
Barton L., Marounek M., Kudrna V., Bureš D. and Zahradkova R. (2007). Growth performance and fatty acid profiles of intramuscular and subcutaneous fat from Limousin and Charolais heifers fed extruded linseed. Meat Sci. 76, 517-523.
Bennett G.L., Kirton A.H., Johnson D.L. and Carter A.H. (1991). Genetic and environmental effects on carcass characteristics of Southdown × Romney lambs: I. Growth rate, sex and rearing effects. J. Anim. Sci. 69, 1856-1863.
Beriain M.J., Horcada A., Purroy A., Lizaso G., Chasco J. and Mendizabal J.A. (2000). Characteristics of Lacha and Rasa Aragonesa lambs slaughtered at three live weights. J. Anim. Sci. 78, 3070-3077.
Caneque V., Diaz M.T., Ivarez I.A., Lauzurica S., Perez C. and De la Fuente J. (2005). The influences of carcass weight and depot on the fatty acid composition of fats of suckling manchego lambs. Meat Sci. 70, 373-379.
Castro T., Manso T., Mantecón A.R., Guirao J. and Jimeno V. (2005). Fatty acid composition and carcass characteristics of growing lambs fed diets containing palm oil supplements. Meat Sci. 69, 757-764.
Cifuni G.F., Napolitano F., Pacelli C., Riviezzi A.M. and Girolami A. (1999). Effect of age at slaughter on carcass traits, fatty acid composition and lipid oxidation of Apulian lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 35, 65-70.
Doney J.M., Milne J.A., Maxwell T.J., Sibbald A.M. and Smith A.D.M. (1988). The effects of live weight at weaning on growth rate and carcass composition at different stages of maturity in Scottish Blackface lambs fed on two different diets. Anim. Prod. 47, 401-409.
Enser M., Hallett K., Hewitt B., Fursey G.A.J. andWood J.D. (1996). Fatty acid composition of English beef, lamb and pork at retail. Meat Sci.42,443-456.
Flynn M.A., Naumann H.D., Nolph G.B., Krause G. and Ellersieck M. (1985). The effect of meat consumption on serum lipids. Food Technol. 39, 58-64.
Hair J.F., Anderson R.E., Tatham R.L. and Black W.C. (1998). Multivariate Data Analysis. Prentice Hall.
Horcada A., Beriain M.J., Purroy A., Lizaso G. and Chasco J. (1998). Effect of sex on meat quality of Spanish lamb breeds (Lacha and Rasa Aragonesa). Anim. Sci. 67, 541-547.
Hu F.B., Stampfer M.J., Manson J.E., Aschiero A., Colditz G.A. and Speizer F.E. (1999). Dietary saturated fats and their food sources in relation to the risk of coronary heart disease in women. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 70, 1001-1008.
Kemp J.D., Shelley J.M.J., Ely D.G. and Fox J.D. (1976). Effect of dietary protein, slaughter weight and sex on carcass composition, organoleptic properties and cooking losses of lamb. J. Anim. Sci. 42, 575-583.
Marino R., Albenzio M., Annicchiarico G., Caroprese M., Muscio A., Santillo A. and Sevia A. (2008). Influence of genotype and slaughtering age on meat from Altamurana and Trimeticcio lambs. Small Rumin. Res. 78, 144-151.
Montossi F., Font-i-Furnols M., del Campo M., San Julián R., Brito G. and Sañudo C. (2013). Sustainable sheep production and consumer preference trends: compatibilities, contradictions, and unresolved dilemmas. Meat Sci. 95, 772-789.
Muela E., Sanudo C., Campo M.M., Medel I. and Beltran J.A. (2010). Effects of cooling temperature and hot carcass weight on the quality of lamb. Meat Sci. 84, 101-107.
Nudda A., Battacone G., Boe R., Manca M.G., Pier S., Rassu G. and Pulina G. (2013). Influence of outdoor and indoor rearing system of suckling lambs on fatty acid profile and lipid oxidation stability of raw and cooked meat. Italian J. Anim. Sci. 12, 459-467.
Oriani G., Maiorano G., Filetti F., Di Cesare C., Manchisi A. and Salvatori G. (2005). Effect of age on fatty acid composition of Italian Merino suckling lambs. Meat Sci. 71, 557-562.
Paim T.P., Viana P., Brandão E., Amador S., Barbosa T., Cardoso C., Dantas Â.M.M., de Souza J.R., McManus C., Abdalla A.L. and Louvandini H. (2014). Carcass traits and fatty acid profile of meat from lambs fed different cottonseed by-products. J. Anim. Sci. 116, 71-77.
Santos-Silva J., Mendes I.A. and Bessa R.J.B. (2002). The effect of genotype, feeding system and slaughter weight on the quality of light lambs. Growth, carcass composition and meat quality. Livest. Prod. Sci. 76, 17-25.
Sanudo C., Sanchez A. and Alfonso M. (1998). Small ruminant production systems and factors affecting lamb meat quality. Meat Sci. 49, 29-64.
Sanudo C., Alfonso M., Sánchez A., Delfa R. and Teixeira A. (2000). Carcass and meat quality in light lambs from different fat classes in the EU carcass classification system.Meat Sci. 56, 89-94.
Shrout P.E. and Bolger N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: new procedures and recommendations. Psychol. Method. 7, 422-445.
Skapetas B., Sinapis E., Hatziminaouglou J., Karalazos A. and Katanos, J. (2006). Effect of age at slaughter on carcass characteristics and carcass composition in lambs of mountain Greek breeds. Czech J. Anim. Sci. 51, 311-317.
Smith S.B., Gill C.A., Lunt D.K. and Brooks M.A. (2009). Regulation of fat and fatty acid composition in beef cattle. Asian-australas J.Anim. Sci. 22, 1225-1233.
Solomon M.B., Kemo J.D., Moody W.G., Ely D.G. and Fox J.D. (1980). Effect of breed and slaughter weight on physical, chemical and organoleptic properties of lamb carcasses. J. Anim. Sci. 51, 1102-1107.
SPSS Inc. (2011). Statistical Package for Social Sciences Study. SPSS for Windows, Version 20. Chicago SPSS Inc.
Velasco S., Lauzurica S., Caneque V., Perez C., Ruiz De Huidobro F. and Manzanares C. (2000). Carcass and meat quality of Talaverana breed sucking lambs in relation to gender and slaughter weight. Anim. Sci. 70, 253-263.
Vergara H., Molina A. and Gallego L. (1999). Influence of sex and slaughter weight on carcass and meat quality in light and medium weight lambs produced in intensive systems. Meat Sci. 59, 221-226.
Wood J.D., Enser M., Fisher A.V., Nute G.R., Sheard P.R., Richardson R.I., Hughes S.I. and Whittington F.M. (2008). Fat deposition, fatty acid composition and meat quality: a review. Meat Sci. 78, 343-358.
Zygoyiannis D., Stamataris K., Kouimtzis S. and Doney J.M. (1990). Carcass composition in lambs of Greek dairy breeds of sheep. Anim. Prod. 50, 261-269.