Lamb fat has high levels of saturated fatty acids, particularly stearic acid (18:0), and a low ratio of polyunsat-urated to saturated fatty acids (P:S). Values of P:S are around 0.1, whereas the recommended value for optimum nutrition is 0.4. On the other hand, lamb has significant concentrations of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, higher than beef, especially after grass-feeding. The ratio of n-6 to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, also an important nutritional index, is therefore beneficially low in lamb. The high concentration of stearic acid is a factor in the hardness of lamb fat, which is very noticeable when the meat is eaten cold. There is a strong correlation between the concentration of stearic acid and the melting point of the lipid extracted from lamb fat, as also shown in other species.
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