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Article

Putting the Spring back into the Hare (Pedetes capensis): Meat Chemical Composition of an Underutilized Protein Source

1
Food Quality and Design Group, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 17, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Department of Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
3
Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), The University of Queensland, Agricultural Mechanisation Building A. 8115. Office 110, Gatton 4343, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(8), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081096
Received: 21 July 2020 / Revised: 7 August 2020 / Accepted: 8 August 2020 / Published: 11 August 2020
Alternative protein sources are gaining increasing global attention as a solution to address future protein demands. Determining the chemical composition of meat alternatives is vital to confirm that it is nutritious, but also to increase product value and promote its utilization. The carcass characteristics and chemical composition of springhare, an underutilized protein source, was found to be comparable to that of commercially reared rabbits. Hence, its introduction into the commercial supply chain would likely not offset consumers accustomed to purchasing rabbit/hare meat. Springhare meat had a high protein content (~22.5 g/100 g meat) and low lipid (<1.3 g/100 g meat) content. The meat’s fatty acids mainly comprised C18:2n6c (γ-linoleic acid; 24%), C18:0 (stearic acid; 20%), C16:0 (palmitic acid; 19%), C20:4n6 (arachidonic acid; 15%) and C18:1n9c (oleic acid; 13%). Although sex did not significantly influence the carcass characteristics and meat composition, season did have an effect (p < 0.05) on the fatty acid profile. The meat harvested in summer had higher (p < 0.05) concentrations of favorable unsaturated fatty acids, C18:2n6c, C18:3n6, C18:3n3 (α-linolenic acid), C20:2n6 (eicosadienoic acid), C20:3n3 (eicosatrienoic acid), compared to the meat obtained in winter, which contained more (p < 0.05) saturated fatty acids. The results verify that springhare can be utilized as a viable alternative protein source. View Full-Text
Keywords: alternative proteins; springhare; underutilized animal-based foods alternative proteins; springhare; underutilized animal-based foods
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MDPI and ACS Style

Erasmus, S.W.; Hoffman, L.C. Putting the Spring back into the Hare (Pedetes capensis): Meat Chemical Composition of an Underutilized Protein Source. Foods 2020, 9, 1096. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081096

AMA Style

Erasmus SW, Hoffman LC. Putting the Spring back into the Hare (Pedetes capensis): Meat Chemical Composition of an Underutilized Protein Source. Foods. 2020; 9(8):1096. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081096

Chicago/Turabian Style

Erasmus, Sara W., and Louwrens C. Hoffman 2020. "Putting the Spring back into the Hare (Pedetes capensis): Meat Chemical Composition of an Underutilized Protein Source" Foods 9, no. 8: 1096. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081096

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