Eating Quality and Fatty Acid Content of Lamb

Background and methodology:

Organic and conventional lamb loin chops were purchased from three major supermarket chains in Great Britain on 10 occasions over a six-week period. These 360 samples were representative of what is available to British consumers. The nutritional quality was assessed in terms of its fatty acid composition; eating quality was assessed by a trained sensory panel.  


The data suggest that there were systematic differences in fatty acid composition and eating quality between conventionally and organically produced lamb offered for sale to consumers during the trial period. The organic meat had a higher polyunsaturated fatty acid content and better eating quality in terms of juiciness and flavor than conventional lamb purchased from the same three supermarkets. Differences in juiciness were attributed to the higher intramuscular fat content of organic meat while differences in flavor preferred by British consumers were attributed to differences in fatty acid composition, in particular, the higher level of linolenic acid (18:3) and total polyunsaturated fatty acids in organic chops.


Angood, K. M., Wood, J. D., Nute, G. R., Whittington, F. M., Hughes, S. I., & Sheard, P. R. (2008). A comparison of organic and conventionally-produced lamb purchased from three major UK supermarkets: Price, eating quality and fatty acid composition. Meat Science, 78(3), 176-184. Available on-line at: