Volatile compounds in the perirenal fat from calves finished on semiextensive or intensive systems with special emphasis on terpenoids
Keywords:Biomarker, Calf, Meat flavor, Meat quality, Pasture feeding, Terpene, Tudanca
Grazing ruminants and their production systems have been associated with lower environmental impact and higher animal welfare, along with distinctive meat quality characteristics when compared to intensively reared animals. Recent studies have been aimed at finding compounds in ruminant meat and fat which could be used as tracers of herbage feeding. This study determined and compared the volatile composition of the perirenal fat from Tudanca-breed calves reared on semi-extensive (SE; n=8) or intensive (I; n=8) systems. The volatile compounds of perirenal fat were analyzed using simultaneous distillation-extraction and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) with the mass spectra detector operating in full scan mode. Terpenes were also determined using solid-phase micro-extraction and GC/MS operating in the selective ion monitoring mode. The SE system resulted in decreased levels of octanal, 2-octenal and 2,4-decadienal, and increased levels of 2,3-octanedione and skatole. The levels of α-pinene, aromadendrene, α-phellandrene, eucalyptol and α-gurjunene were higher for the SE system. Fenchene, eucalyptol and α-gurjunene have not been reported in previous studies on beef volatiles. The study showed the possibility of using several terpenes of perirenal fat as indicators of pasture-feeding in Tudanca calves.
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