Fatty acid profile of zebu beef cattle from the Central African sub-region
This study analysed the meat fatty acid (FA) composition of three zebu breeds, Gudali (GU), White Fulani (WF) and Red Mbororo (RM), raised on savannah pasture and monitored in the commercial context of the Yaoundé abattoir. Samples of m. longissimus thoracis from 60 bulls belonging to the GU, WF and RM breeds were collected and analysed for fat and FA composition. The fat content of the meat was low, but similar across breeds (1.34 ± 0.912 g/100 g muscle, mean ± SD). Meat from the GU breed had higher C18:3n-3 and C22:5n-3 proportions and lower C18:0 and total saturated FA proportions than WF meat. Red Mbororo meat had an intermediate FA composition compared with the other breeds. The elongase and Δ9 desaturase indices were comparable among breeds. In summary, the results indicate that there are minimal differences in beef FA composition of the three breeds from the Central African sub-region. Additionally, based on the polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) proportion, 13.9% of the total lipids and n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio, 1.95, consumption of beef from these breeds could be beneficial to human health. This is possibly owing to the pasture feeding and low fat content of the beef.
Keywords: Intramuscular fat; fatty acid composition; natural pasture