This study compared effects of a diet containing 3% extruded linseed (EL) (Linum usitatissimum L.) with a control diet (C) on growth, carcass traits, and meat quality in young Podolian bulls. After 208 days on feed, the bulls were slaughtered at 18 months of age. Samples of Longissimus lumborum (Ll) were analysed to assess their physical and chemical parameters and intramuscular fatty acid composition. Average daily gain, feed intake and feed efficiency were not affected by treatments. Bulls fed EL (n = 6) had significantly greater final (612 kg versus 593 kg) and slaughter weights (583 kg versus 563 kg) than those fed C (n = 6). Compared with C, EL significantly increased percentages of lean from the pelvic limb (71.9% versus 69.3%) and of bone from the lumbar region (30.0 versus 27.1%). Meat pH recorded at slaughter was significantly greater for C than EL (6.7 versus 6.4). Diet did not affect meat colour, chemical composition and shear force of either the raw or cooked meat. Total amounts of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids were not influenced by the diets. Concentrations of linoleic acid (C18:2 n-6) (3.30 versus 4.08) and total n-6 fatty acids (3.83 versus 4.73) were reduced by EL, while EL significantly enhanced linolenic acid (C18:3 n-3) (0.45 vs 0.20) and total n-3 fatty acids (1.64 versus 1.18) in the meat compared with C. Thus, dietary supplementation with 3% EL improved the amount of n-3 fatty acids in the meat from young Podolian bulls without affecting their performance.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher