A major research project has helped the Welsh red meat sector to compile a new guide showcasing the nutritional benefits of lamb as part of a balanced diet.
The Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) project seeks to ensure Welsh lamb retains its reputation by studying consumers’ preferences and through scientific analysis of a variety of lamb samples.
Analysis of the nutritional composition of lamb has been undertaken – including from various cuts and lambs fed on different diets – to ascertain the levels of iron, zinc and amino acids
The findings have helped to inform a new booklet - the Nutrition of Lamb - published by HCC which will support the project.
It explores how the different vitamins and minerals in lamb form part of a healthy balanced diet, gives advice on government healthy eating guidelines for meat, and how best to cook lamb.
As part of the NHS Eatwell Guide, it is recommended that people should eat protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs, lentils and pulses as part of each meal.
Lamb is an excellent source of protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals, according to HCC's booklet.
Project leader Dr Eleri Thomas said the work had shed new light on the presence of essential amino acids and other nutrients in lamb.
She also said the research looked at how the meat may be impacted by factors such as the lambs' diets on-farm.
“The Nutrition of Lamb is in line with government guidelines and was produced with input from a registered dietitian, so should be of interest to consumers, health professionals and teachers alike," she said.
“It will also be a useful asset for the project’s ongoing programme of consumer taste panels, which will help our sector to understand what factors impact on the eating quality of lamb, and how we can best meet the needs of the modern shopper.”
The Nutrition of Lamb booklet is available to download from the HCC website.