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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13F514 Teagasc (UCD) €599,808

Project Title:

Nutritional composition, human health implications and marketing opportunities for beef from a grass-based production system

Project Coordinator:

Dr Aidan Moloney

Project Abstract

The objectives are to produce and assess beef from grass-based production systems, in the context of human nutrition and health. Using an early maturing heifer beef system, beef will be produced from an exclusively grass or grass products-based diet. This novel beef will be compared with concentrate-finished beef and beef from a grass-silage based finishing system enriched in fatty acid composition by strategic concentrate supplementation. Five individual meat cuts (muscles and adipose tissue) will be collected from each animal at slaughter for analysis of a range of constituents considered to have human health benefits, in particular fatty acids and target micronutrients. The impact of level of consumption of these nutrients on blood markers of human health will be modelled using data within the National Adult Nutrition Survey database. The health effects of feeding grass-fed beef on markers of diabetes and heart disease will be determined in animal models and in an acute intervention/metabolic challenge study in human volunteers. Marketing opportunities and challenges to capture the benefits of grass-fed beef will be examined using a stakeholder workshop format.

New information will be provided on:

  1. The composition of beef from grass-based production systems for inclusion in food composition databases.
  2. Data on the comparative effects of different types of beef on human health from animal and human studies.
  3. Strategies to assist the marketing of Irish beef.

Final Report:

Not available yet.