Twenty-eight male lambs were divided into two groups at age 45 d. Fourteen lambs were given fresh herbage (vetch); the remaining lambs were fed a concentrate-based diet. Within each treatment, seven lambs received a supplementation of quebracho tannins. At slaughter (age 105 d) the ruminal content and the muscle longissimus dorsi (LD) were collected. Ruminal fluid and LD fatty acid composition was determined by gas chromatography. Among the concentrates-fed lambs, tannins supplementation reduced (P < 0.05) the concentration of C18:0 (- 49 %) and increased vaccenic acid (VA; + 69 %) in the ruminal fluid. When tannins were included into the concentrate, the LD contained double levels of rumenic acid (RA) as compared to the LD of the lambs fed the tannins-free concentrate (0.96 vs. 0.46 % of total extracted fatty acids, respectively; P < 0.05). The concentration of PUFA was higher (P < 0.05) and SFA (P < 0.01) lower in the LD from lambs fed the tannin diets as compared to the animals receiving the tannin-free diets. In conclusion, tannins reduce the biohydrogenation of the PUFA in the rumen. This implies that tannins supplementation could be a strategy to increase the RA and PUFA content and to reduce the SFA into ruminant meats.
Conjugated linoleic acid, Fatty acids, Lamb, Tannins