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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Grazinglands Research Laboratory » Forage and Livestock Production Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #236535

Title: Fatty acid profile of back fat and intramuscular fat from yak and Chinese yellow cattle

item Brown, Michael

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2009
Publication Date: 7/29/2009
Citation: Peng, Y., Brown, M.A., Wu, J. 2009. Fatty acid profile of back fat and intramuscular fat from yak and Chinese yellow cattle [abstract]. American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting, July 12-16, 2009, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Available on-line:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only.

Technical Abstract: Meat from yak (Bos grunniens) and Chinese Yellow Cattle (Bos taurus) are important human dietary components in Northwest China and throughout the world. Fatty acid (FA) composition is an important factor in the definition of meat quality due to its association with meat odor, flavor, and nutritional value of fat for human consumption. Three-yr-old Qinghai yak (Bos grunniens) bulls (n=6) and three-yr-old Chinese Yellow Cattle (Bos taurus) bulls (n=5) were used to evaluate the effects of species on FA profile of longissimus dorsi intramuscular fat (LD) and back fat over the l. dorsi (BF). Animals were randomly picked from herds grazing summer pasture in alpine meadow regions of the Qilian mountains in Qinghai Province in China. Fatty acid analyses were done using a GC-MS and around 50 different FA were detected. Statistical analyses were done using mixed model procedures with a linear model that included the fixed effects of species, tissue (LD,BF) and species x tissue and random effects of animal in species and tissue x animal in species. Yak were lesser than cattle in palmitic and oleic acid in BF (P < 0.05) but not LD. Yak were greater than cattle in vaccenic acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLAc9,t11) for BF (P < 0.01) and LD (P < 0.10) and yak were greater than cattle in polyunsaturated FA and the ratio of polyunsaturated FA to saturated FA (P < 0.05) in LD. Yak were also less than cattle in the ratio of n6 to n3 FA for BF and LD and greater than cattle in linolenic acid in BF and LD (P < 0.05). These results suggest that the nutritional value of FA in beef is better for yak compared to Yellow Cattle and that species differences in FA profile can depend on the adipose tissue source.