Intra-muscular and inter-muscular variation in carbon turnover of ovine muscles as recorded by stable isotope ratios

Sabine M. Harrison, Frank J. Monahan, Aidan P. Moloney, Simon D. Kelly, Fionnuala Cuffe, Jurian Hoogewerff, Olaf Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


In the case of muscle-based foods, the incorporation of dietary isotopic signals into muscle tissue is a dynamic process and it is not known whether all muscles, or locations within a muscle, have the same isotopic composition. Therefore, an experiment was conducted in which 28 lambs were switched from a control diet to an isotopically distinct experimental diet offered at two different energy allowances (EA). Small, albeit significant, differences were detected in tissue carbon (C) turnover within the muscle Longissimus dorsi. Inter-muscular comparison showed similar C half-lives for four of the five analysed muscles. The results also clearly demonstrated that the EA had a significant impact on intra- and inter-muscular C turnover. The findings of similar tissue C turnover of several muscles sold as meats and the comparable tissue-diet fractionation of the analysed muscles (both within the same EA) will enable scientists to analyse different meat samples according to availability without introducing large biases. However, EA must be considered a factor of uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalFood Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


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