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Abstract

The study focuses on the 2H/H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and 34S/32S values of defatted dry matter (DFDM) and on the 2H/H, 13C/12C and 18O/16O values of the fat fraction of meat samples from various lamb types reared in seven Italian regions, following different feeding regimes (forage, concentrate, milk). The 13C/12C (r = 0.922), 2H/H (r = 0.577) and 18O/16O (r = 0.449) values of fat and DFDM are significantly correlated, the fat values being significantly lower for C and H and higher for O than for DFDM values and the differences between the two fractions not being constant for different lamb types. The feeding regime significantly affected the 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and 2H/H of fat. The DFDM 2H/H, and 18O/16O values, excluding an outlier, are significantly correlated with the corresponding values in meteoric waters, thus allowing us to trace the variability of geoclimatic factors. 15N/14N is influenced by pedoclimatic conditions, whereas 34S/32S is influenced by the sea spray effect and the surface geology of the provenance area. By applying stepwise linear discriminant analysis only the 2H/H of fat was found not to be significant and 97.7% of the samples were correctly assigned to the lamb type and more than 90% cross-validated. With the feeding regime, 97.7% of the samples were both correctly assigned and cross-validated using a predictive model including 13C/12C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O, 34S/32S of DFDM and 18O/16O of fat. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.