Conjugated Linoleic Acid Content of Beef Finished with Pasture

2003 Annual Report for LNC02-216

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2002: $97,533.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $29,902.00
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Carol Lorenzen
University of Missouri

Conjugated Linoleic Acid Content of Beef Finished with Pasture


Four cattle feeding regimes — pasture, pasture with grain supplement, pasture with grain supplement containing soyoil, and a feedlot diet — were compared to determine the CLA content of meat. Cattle fed the feedlot diet had higher values for all USDA yield and quality grade traits compared to the other three feeding regimes. Longissimus lumborum from cattle finished on pasture with grain supplement containing soyoil had the highest total CLA content in both raw and cooked Longissimus lumborum. Ribeye steaks from cattle finished on a feedlot diet had the lowest total CLA content for cooked steaks when expressed as mg/g of fat.

Objectives/Performance Targets

1. Determine and compare the CLA content of pasture finished beef in the raw and cooked states.

2. Determine the effects of different grain supplementation regimes on the CLA content of beef.

3. Determine the economic feasibility of pasture-finished beef for a niche market.

4. Develop educational materials for producers about the management tools and economics involved with increasing the CLA content in beef through pasture finishing.


Objective 1: The initial chemical analysis to determine the CLA and fat content for all meat cuts and trim was completed in January 2004. We are currently analyzing the data. The data for the Longissimus dorsi muscle has been accepted as an abstract for the 2004 Midwest Animal Science Meetings.

Objective 2: The economic data relating to live animal production and carcass value was collected in the fall of 2002 and early winter of 2003. The consumer panel for determining overall acceptability of all products and willingness to buy was conducted in December 2003. We are currently analyzing this data.

Objective 3: This objective is to be accomplished in the third year of the project and is dependent on the analysis of the data collected in years one and two.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

One abstract from this data has been accepted for presentation at the Midwest Animal Science Meetings in March 2004. This will contribute to the scientific knowledge of the effects of feeding regime on CLA content in meat.

A short educational program about the health benefits of CLA and this study was given to consumers during the consumer panel that was conducted as part of this study. This allowed for the education of 86 adults.


Kevin Moore

University of Missouri
Ingolf Gruen

University of Missouri
Fred Martz

University of Missouri
James Gerrish

University of Missouri