Fatty acid profile of feral cattle meat.
Marisme∼na is a feral Spanish cattle breed reared in the Do∼nana National Park, whose meat quality is traditionally appreciated in the area of influence. We assessed male (n=32) and female (n=22) Marisme∼na calves raised in their natural habitat (n=30) vs. feedlot conditions (n=24) to test differences in the lipid profiles of the m. longissimus thoracis. Meat from the feral system displayed (p<.05) lower intramuscular fat (IMF) (0.93%), higher saturated fatty acids (SFA) (18:0) proportion, and lower monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) proportion compared with feedlot meat. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) percentage was higher for feral meat compared with feedlot meat, especially the proportion of PUFA n-3, which was about 8.5 times greater. The PUFA/SFA (0.37) and PUFA n-6/n-3 (2.87) ratios showed that feral meat was presumably healthier, from a human dietary perspective, than feedlot meat (0.21 and 13.42, respectively). This study used a direct comparison of natural feral meat and conventional feedlot meat in cattle, and the results demonstrated a clear influence of natural production on the constituents of meat.