Quality food production and biodiversity protection

| 13th March 2009
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Animals grazed on biodiverse pasture produce better tasting, and healthier, meat

A new study by researchers at the University of Essex has confirmed that not only does meat from animals grazed on rich, biodiverse pasture have a better nutritional profile, but it tastes better too.

The scientists examined the pastures at 40 different beef, lamb and dairy farms, and then analysed the meat produced in a laboratory, through a taste panel and focus groups.

They discovered that lamb from biodiverse pastures contained more vitamin E than lamb from ordinary pasture, as well as having higher levels of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

The meat also had lower levels of skatole, a chemical produced in the rumen which can adversely affect the food’s smell.

Similar results were found for beef, which contained higher levels of beneficial fatty acids and, depending on breed, more tender and flavoursome meat.