Objective: This study examined the influence of dietary supplementation of Nigella sativa seeds, Rosmarinus officinalis leaves and their combination on carcass attributes, fatty acid (FA) composition, gene expression, lipid oxidation and physicochemical properties of longissimus dorsi (LD), semitendinosus (ST), and supraspinatus (SS) muscles in Dorper lambs.
METHODS: Twenty-four Dorper lambs (18.68±0.6 kg, 4 to 5 months old) were randomly assigned to a concentrate mixture containing either, no supplement (control, T1), 1% Rosmarinus officinalis leaves (T2), 1% Nigella sativa seeds (T3), or 1% Rosmarinus officinalis leaves+1% Nigella sativa seeds (T4) on a dry matter basis. The lambs were fed the treatments with urea-treated rice straw for 90 days, slaughtered and the muscles were subjected to a 7 d postmortem chill storage.
RESULTS: The T2 lambs had greater (p<0.05) slaughter and cold carcass weights than the control lambs. Dietary supplements did not affect (p>0.05) chill loss, dressing percentage, carcass composition, intramuscular fat and muscle pH in Dorper lambs. Meat from supplemented lambs had lower (p<0.05) cooking and drip losses, shear force, lightness, and lipid oxidation and greater (p<0.05) redness compared with the control meat. The impact of dietary supplements on muscle FA varied with muscle type. Diet had no effect (p>0.05) on the expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase and lipoprotein lipase genes in LD and ST muscles in Dorper lambs. The T2 and T3 diets up regulated the expression of AMP-activated protein kinase alpha 2 gene in LD and ST muscles and up regulated the expression of sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 in ST muscle in Dorper lambs.
CONCLUSION: Dietary supplementation of Nigella sativa seeds and Rosmarinus officinalis leaves had beneficial effects on meat quality in Dorper lambs.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.