The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) in collaboration with the University of Ulster and the Agri Food & Biosciences Institute has been awarded funding from the Department of Education and for a three-year project on omega-3s in beef and lamb.
The project will be 65% funded from DEL and 35% industry contribution.
The a Collaborative Award in Science and Technology (CAST) will be used to fund a local graduate, Alison McAfee, to examine the impact of beef and lamb consumption on omega-3-fatty acid intakes in Northern Ireland.
McAfee will measure omega-3-fatty acid levels in samples of local beef and lamb and will calculate amounts of omega-3s consumed by adults using nutrition survey data as well as the effects of consuming red meat on omega-3 levels in blood.
LMC nutritionist Dr Geraldine Cuskelly said:"Data from countries such as Australia, where beef and lamb are also from predominantly grass-fed animals, indicates that beef and lamb provide over a quarter of long chain omega-3-fatty intakes. Currently we are lacking good data on levels in beef and lamb in Northern Ireland. The data from this project will fill that missing gap."
The results of this project will, for the first time, provide information as to how much omega-3-fatty acids are consumed from beef and lamb in Northern Ireland where both beef and lamb are predominantly grass-fed.