Fatty Acid Composition of Diets, Metabolism, and Deposition in Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue of Pasture and Feedlot Finished Cattle

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Date
2005-04-06
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Publisher
Virginia Tech
Abstract

An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of pasture finishing versus high-concentrate finishing, over time, on fatty acid metabolism in Angus crossbred (n = 24) beef steers. Ruminal fluid, serum, and adipose tissue biposies were obtained on d 0, 28, 84, and 140. Pasture forages and diet ingredient samples were obtained at 14 d intervals to determine nutritive value and fatty acid composition. The high-concentrate diet consisted of corn silage, cracked corn, soybean meal, and a vitamin and mineral supplement. The pasture-finished steers grazed sequentially on triticale (Triticale hexaploide)/annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), alfalfa (Medicago sativa)/orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata), and a cool-season grass/legume mixture.

The high-concentrate diet consisted of 57 % linoleic acid and 7 % linolenic acid (of total fatty acids). The pasture forages contained an average 9 % linoleic acid and 66 % linolenic acid (of total fatty acids).

Adipose tissue concentrations of 18:2 cis-9, trans-11 CLA were higher (P < 0.05) in the pasture-finished steers than high-concentrate finished steers. Concentrations of 18:2 cis-9, trans-11 CLA declined in the high-concentrate finished steers (P < 0.05) from d 0 to 28 and d 28 to 84. In the pasture-finished steers concentrations peaked (P < 0.10) on d 28, and remained high throughout the duration of the study.

Concentrations of linolenic acid were higher (P < 0.05) in adipose tissue, ruminal fluid, and serum of the pasture-finished steers, compared to the high-concentrate finished steers. In the pasture-finished steers linolenic acid concentrations peaked (P < 0.05) on d 28, and remained high throughout the study. Concentrations of linolenic acid gradually decreased (P < 0.05) over time within the high-concentrate finished steers. Thus, it appears that only a short time is needed to alter the omega-3 and CLA composition of adipose tissue in cattle finished on pasture.

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Keywords
Fatty Acids, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Pasture-finished beef, Time on Feed
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