"It is a very healthy lamb, fed naturally, with a mild flavor, especially for consumers who prefer leaner and healthier products but equally tasty," explained Rodrigo de la Barra, INIA researcher and specialist in sheep genetics.

The Chiloé lamb has adapted to the conditions of the Chiloé archipelago such as intense rains, pastures of low nutritional quality and even feeding on bushes, reeds and even on algae available on the coast during low tides. According to scientific studies carried out by the Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA), due to the feeding system and its differentiated genetics, this unique animal has healthy properties thanks to its lower amount of intramuscular fat, an excellent omega3-omega6 ratio and high content of conjugated linoleic acid, which help prevent cardiovascular diseases. In addition, nutritional analysis determined that it has 4 times less cholesterol than other meats and is low in sodium.

"It is a very healthy lamb, fed naturally, with a mild flavor, especially for consumers who prefer leaner and healthier products but equally tasty," explained Rodrigo de la Barra, INIA researcher and specialist in ovine genetics who led the studies to differentiate this breed.

The works included molecular genetic studies, comparing the DNA of the Chiloé sheep with twelve other breeds present in Chile, Spain and Portugal and thus it was possible to verify that despite being related to the Churras and Castilian sheep that the Spanish conquerors brought to Chiloé For more than 450 years, the Chilote lamb constitutes a genetic resource different from other breeds. Thus, after long years of scientific research, on January 21, 2010 it was registered in the official registry of the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG), becoming the first Chilean sheep breed.

“Five years later and after a long period of review and new scientific works, the National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) accepted the evidence presented and granted the Geographical Indication (GI) for the meat of lambs raised in Chiloé, fed with products from natural grasslands and born from a Chilean sheep, becoming the first Chilean animal and meat product to obtain a Seal of Origin, ”recalled Dr. Rodrigo de la Barra.

Currently, after many years of working with sheep-farming organizations in the archipelago and with the support of the public sector through the Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA), the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA), the Regional Government of Los Lagos and in In this last stage, the Technical Cooperation Service (Sercotec) and the Chiloé Business Center with a Juntos regional fast track project, the Cooperativa Agrícola y Campesina de Fomento de Chiloé (Cofoch), put Lamb Chilote IG meat for sale with Seal de Origen, a unique genetic resource in the world that after 15 years of studies and efforts manages to reach the market.

"Our lamb meat is the first meat product in Chile with a Seal of Origin and also has less intramuscular fat, only 1.6% compared to other breeds that have a 2.4%, in addition to other characteristics," said Iris Díaz, manager of the cooperative and in charge of processing and marketing this innovative product.

He added that "in the month of March we did our first task and our main clients belong to the Horeca sector (hotels, restaurants and casinos) of the archipelago, but due to the sanitary condition of the country that we all know, we are focusing directly on the final consumer" .

The executive made an invitation to “get to know us and learn more about us on our website www.cofochcooperativa.cl or on our social networks (Facebook @cofoch and Instagram @ cofoch.cooperativa) ”. He added that to buy, those interested should send an e-mail to: cofochcooperativa@gmail.com or call +56 9 61923261.

About INIA

The Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA) is the main institution for agri-food research, development and innovation in Chile. Linked to the Ministry of Agriculture, it has a national presence and a work team of more than 1,000 highly qualified people. It executes an average of 400 projects per year around 5 strategic areas: Climate Change, Sustainability, Food of the Future, Emerging Technologies, and Extension and Training of Capacities. These initiatives contribute to the sustainable agri-food development of the country, creating value and proposing innovative solutions to farmers, strategic partners and the population, generating a social profitability that varies between 15% and 25%, for each peso invested in each of their projects.

INIA, more than 55 years leading the sustainable agri-food development of Chile.

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Press Contact: Luis Opazo, MCE Journalist in Charge of Communications at INIA Remehue. Cel. +56997005745 e-mail: lopazo@www.inia.cl