Video transcript: Livestock dietary improvements for healthier meat

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October 2010

Dr Michael Lee, Animal and Microbial science, IBERS
Camera pans around the cow-shed.
So these are animals on a big production study looking at metabolisms and actually being fed a novel oil which is stearidonic acid. Now one of the detrimental things about rumen products is the high amount of saturated fats so if we can increase the amount of polyunsaturated fats in these animals we can improve the quality of the product.

This is the calliper gauge feeding system. Each bin is specifically designated to the animal. The animal has an electronic device around their neck which will activate feeding systems, it will only allow that animal into that bin therefore we know how much the animal has eaten and we can also regulate how much it does eat.

Cow demonstrates it can eat from its bin.
So what we are doing is using an intermediate fatty acid - stearidonic acid, C18.4, which is easily converted into these long chained PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) fish oils in animals so this is the first study of its type looking at the effect of feeding stearidonic acid on ruminant products particularly beef in these animals. So we are hoping that these animals will produce much higher quality meat and a much healthier steak in terms of fatty acid profiles.