Influence of Nutritional Regime (ryegrass, lucerne, brassica) on Sheep Meat Texture and Flavour

Summer-active finishing forages such as lucerne and brassicas are undoubtedly useful for Australian lamb producers; however their wider deployment may be being held back by negative perceptions, especially regarding potential flavour issues. Research published in the past has suggested that lucerne may be responsible for undesirable flavours in lamb. Anecdotally, brassica forages have been associated with negative flavours or taints in lamb. 

Current recommendations are to have a “washout” period on grain after being on brassica crops (AgFacts NSW Report ). In this study we aimed to find objective evidence of any negative (or positive) flavour or sensory effects from lucerne and brassica feeds compared to a typical control regime of ryegrass supplemented with grain. The breed or genetics of lambs is also known to affect flavour attributes and eating quality.