A major research project has helped Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) to compile a new guide to the nutritional benefits of lamb as part of a balanced diet.

HCC’s Welsh Lamb Meat Quality Project is part of a five-year Red Meat Development Programme, funded by the EU and the Welsh government, and seeks to ensure Welsh Lamb retains its worldwide reputation by studying consumers’ preferences and through scientific analysis of a variety of lamb samples.

As part of the research, analysis of the nutritional composition of Welsh 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 which will support the project, The Nutrition of Lamb, published by HCC.

The publication 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.

An ‘interesting new light’

Project leader Dr. Eleri Thomas said:

“Our work on Welsh Lamb and nutrition through the project so far has shed interesting new light on the presence of essential amino acids and other nutrients in lamb, and how they may be impacted by factors such as lambs’ diets on farm.

“I’m pleased that this work has helped inform a publication for a wider audience.

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.

“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.”