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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Methods and Application of Food Composition Laboratory » MAFCL site pages » Domestic Grass and Grain Finished Lamb

Domestic Grass and Grain Finished Lamb Study

This domestic lamb study was a collaboration between scientists from USDA and Colorado State University (CSU). Nutrient data were obtained for widely purchased retail cuts of U.S. lamb produced under grass- and grain-finished systems. Samples of 11 retail-ready domestically raised grass- and grain-finished lamb cuts were collected from representative suppliers over a 1-year period to obtain samples from all four seasons.  CSU meat scientists dissected the cuts (n=24 per grain-finished and n=10 per grass-finished cut) and prepared samples for nutrient analysis using standard protocols. USDA-approved laboratories analyzed the samples using validated methodology, reference materials, and random duplicates for quality assurance.  Data were thoroughly reviewed by a team of scientists. This study generated updated analytical data for grass- versus grain-finished retail lamb cuts. The data support nutrition monitoring efforts and provide knowledge for making healthy food choices.