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Table 1 Comparison of mean saturated fatty acid composition (expressed as mg/g of fatty acid or as a % of total lipid) between grass-fed and grain-fed cattle.

From: A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef

  Fatty Acid
Author, publication year, breed, treatment C12:0 lauric C14:0 myristic C16:0 palmitic C18:0 stearic C20:0 arachidic Total SFA (units as specified) Total lipid (units as specified)
Alfaia, et al., 2009, Crossbred steers g/100 g lipid
   Grass 0.05 1.24* 18.42* 17.54* 0.25* 38.76 9.76* mg/g muscle
   Grain 0.06 1.84* 20.79* 14.96* 0.19* 39.27 13.03* mg/g muscle
Leheska, et al., 2008, Mixed cattle g/100 g lipid
   Grass 0.05 2.84* 26.9 17.0* 0.13* 48.8* 2.8* % of muscle
   Grain 0.07 3.45* 26.3 13.2* 0.08* 45.1* 4.4* % of muscle
Garcia et al., 2008, Angus X-bred steers % of total FA
   Grass na 2.19 23.1 13.1* na 38.4* 2.86* %IMF
   Grain na 2.44 22.1 10.8* na 35.3* 3.85* %IMF
Ponnampalam, et al., 2006, Angus steers mg/100 g muscle tissue
   Grass na 56.9* 508* 272.8 na 900* 2.12%* % of muscle
   Grain na 103.7* 899* 463.3 na 1568* 3.61%* % of muscle
Nuernberg, et al., 2005, Simmental bulls % of total intramuscular fat reported as LSM
   Grass 0.04 1.82 22.56* 17.64* na 43.91 1.51* % of muscle
   Grain 0.05 1.96 24.26* 16.80* na 44.49 2.61* % of muscle
Descalzo, et al., 2005 Crossbred Steers % of total FA
   Grass na 2.2 22.0 19.1 na 42.8 2.7* %IMF
   Grain na 2.0 25.0 18.2 na 45.5 4.7* %IMF
Realini, et al., 2004, Hereford steers % fatty acid within intramuscular fat
   Grass na 1.64* 21.61* 17.74* na 49.08 1.68* % of muscle
   Grain na 2.17* 24.26* 15.77* na 47.62 3.18* % of muscle
  1. *Indicates a significant difference (at least P < 0.05) between feeding regimens was reported within each respective study. "na" indicates that the value was not reported in the original study.