The nutrient composition of South African lamb (A2 grade)

13 Sep 2007

Dorper and Merino lamb carcasses of the A age group with a fat code 2 (±7% SCF) from three main production areas in South Africa were used for this study. The right sides of the carcasses were used to determine the raw nutrient and physical (carcass) composition of each cut as well as for the whole carcass by calculation. Three cuts (shoulder, loin and leg) from the left side were cooked in order to determine the nutrient composition thereof. Nutrients showing the greatest differences between raw and cooked treatments, were protein, total fat, C16:0 saturated fatty acid (SFA) and C18:1n9c monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). Moisture losses due to cooking resulted in an increase in the protein and cholesterol concentrations of the cooked cuts. Iron content was lower in the cooked loin cut but increased in the cooked leg cut when compared to the corresponding raw cuts. The vitamin B content of all three cooked lamb cuts was lower, although not significantly so, than that of the corresponding raw cuts. Lamb is a good source of protein, iron and the B vitamins, especially vitamin B12 when cooked.