Enrichment of n-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid in beef: ProSafeBeef

A. P. Moloney, N. D. Scollan, Lisa Miles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ProSafeBeef is a 5‐year integrated project funded by the European Commission under the sixth Framework Programme. The overall aim is to advance beef safety and quality across Europe and the work programme spans seven integrated “pillars”. Pillar 3 is concerned with producing safe beef and beef products with enhanced nutritional and eating quality characteristics. A particular focus is on the development of strategies to enhance the concentrations in beef of those fatty acids considered to be of benefit to human health, without causing a detrimental effect on the appearance, shelf‐life or eating quality of the beef. There is accumulating evidence of the importance of long‐chain n‐3 (omega‐3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for human health and disease prevention, and also evidence from experimental studies that has shown anticarcinogenic, antiatherogenic, and anti‐obesity effects of two isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Based on this evidence, the major focus of research efforts to improve the nutritional value of beef has been on increasing the concentration of the n‐3 PUFAs and CLA. Considerable progress has been made within pillar 3 of ProSafeBeef to meet this aim, primarily by manipulating the diet of cattle. Fundamental information on ruminal lipid metabolism and on the control and/or prevention of ruminal hydrogenation of dietary lipids arising from research within ProSafeBeef will facilitate the production of beef with a ‘healthier’ fatty acid profile. Moreover, strategies will be defined for industry on how to optimise nutritional and sensory properties and oxidative quality of beef products, by combining the nutritional enhancement made in the live animal together with target levels of functional ingredients to be added during processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-381
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2008


  • ProSafeBeef
  • beef
  • fatty acids
  • n-3 fatty acids
  • conjugated linoleic acid


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