Special Issue "Game Meat and Game Meat Products: Safety, Quality and Consumer Perception"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Meat".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 September 2021) | Viewed by 22077

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Raffaella Branciari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Interests: food safety; food quality; food and feed contaminants; aflatoxins; fish products; dietary exposure; dairy products; heavy metals; acrylamide; by-products; sustainable food production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. David Ranucci
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Interests: meat and meat product quality; meat and meat product safety; antioxidant; game meat; meat hygiene
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in game meat worldwide because of the positive factors associated to these products that meet some modern consumers’ demands, as they have many similarities with organic ones and an important impact on the food supply chain of different countries. Wild animals, indeed, freely perform their natural behavioral patterns, have unlimited access to natural feed, and are naturally selected. These factors could confer peculiar nutritional and sensory properties, especially when management practices during meat processing are well implemented. In spite of consumers’ attitude towards game meat, studies and knowledge on its quality and safety, as well as the best hygienic practices to be adopted for its supply, are scarce.

In this Special Issue of Foods, we encourage the submission of manuscripts focused on all aspects of the game meat production chain: the validation of the best procedures to be adopted during hunting or slaughtering, the sanitary aspects of the animals that could affect meat safety, the transport and treatment of carcasses, the assessment of the impact of the process on meat quality and safety, and the microbiological, chemical–physical, nutritional, and sensory characteristics of all kinds of game meat and meat products.

Our aim is to gather all the new information in this field and include it in the Special Issue on “Game Meat and Game Meat Products: Safety, Quality and Consumer Perception”. We invite researchers to contribute original and unpublished research and review articles on this topic.

Dr. Raffaella Branciari
Prof. David Ranucci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Game meat
  • Game meat products
  • Meat quality
  • Microbiological properties
  • Nutritional properties
  • Chemical composition
  • Meat safety
  • Processing
  • Carcass treatment
  • Sensory properties

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

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Article
Physico-Chemical Characteristics and Lipid Oxidative Stability of Zebra (Equus Burchelli) Droëwors Made Using Different Levels of Sheep Fat
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2497; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102497 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 519
Abstract
The physico-chemical properties (proximate, salt content, water activity (aw), pH) and lipid oxidation of droëwors (dried salted/spiced meat sausages) produced with zebra meat and different sheep fat levels (10, 15, and 20% by weight) measured at day 0 (before drying), day [...] Read more.
The physico-chemical properties (proximate, salt content, water activity (aw), pH) and lipid oxidation of droëwors (dried salted/spiced meat sausages) produced with zebra meat and different sheep fat levels (10, 15, and 20% by weight) measured at day 0 (before drying), day 2 (after drying at 30 °C and 40% relative humidity), and over a 90 day storage (day 17, 32, 47, 62, 77, and 92) under vacuum at 25 °C were investigated. The use of lower fat levels (10 and 15%) in the formulation resulted in higher weight loss during drying and droëwors with higher protein, ash, and salt content and lower aw and pH compared to the droëwors made with 20% fat. The pH increased (p < 0.001) during storage for all the fat levels, while the moisture content and the aw were stable as expected. TBARS values were the highest in droëwors made with 20% of fat after drying (day 2), but droëwors made with 10% of fat reached similar maximal values on day 17. Formulations containing 15% sheep fat displayed the lowest TBARS values after drying and along storage, and thus had the best characteristics in relation to oxidative stability. Full article
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Article
Carcass Yields and Physical-Chemical Meat Quality Characteristics of Namibian Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus) as Influenced by Sex and Muscle
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2347; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102347 - 01 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 515
Abstract
This study determined the carcass yields of red hartebeest from Namibia and compared the physical-chemical meat quality characteristics of six different muscles (biceps femoris, infraspinatus, longissimus thoracis et lumborum, semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and supraspinatus) for both males and females. Red hartebeest males [...] Read more.
This study determined the carcass yields of red hartebeest from Namibia and compared the physical-chemical meat quality characteristics of six different muscles (biceps femoris, infraspinatus, longissimus thoracis et lumborum, semimembranosus, semitendinosus, and supraspinatus) for both males and females. Red hartebeest males were heavier (133.92 kg) than females (114.20 kg) but the average dressing percentage did not differ between the two sexes. Muscles from females had a lower mean shear force value of 3.59 kg/1.27 cm ø, compared to males (4.23 kg/1.27 cm ø). The most tender muscle was the infraspinatus of the female treatment group, while the semimembranosus of the male treatment group was the least tender muscle. Drip loss, cooking loss and L* (lightness) values were not affected by sex. The largest hue angle was observed in the semitendinosus muscle of the female treatment group (28.94°), and it was thus the lightest red muscle. The highest chroma values (17.3) were observed in the semimembranosus muscle. Muscle protein content averaged 20.5% over all treatment combinations, and the mean intra-muscular fat content for both male and female muscles was low (2.4%). The shoulder muscles, infraspinatus and supraspinatus, of the females had the highest fat content (2.7%). The results indicate that red hartebeest meat should be market according to specific muscles and that sex of the animals need not be considered during marketing. Full article
Article
An Exploratory Study into the Influence of Sex on Body Measurements, Carcass Weights and Meat Yields of Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis)
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2245; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102245 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 496
Abstract
Various body measurements and commercial carcass yields of relatively young (2½–6 yrs old) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis) were investigated to quantify the effect of sex there upon. Eight male and eight female giraffe were culled by standard practice in Namibia, where [...] Read more.
Various body measurements and commercial carcass yields of relatively young (2½–6 yrs old) giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis) were investigated to quantify the effect of sex there upon. Eight male and eight female giraffe were culled by standard practice in Namibia, where body and horn measurements were taken, before the carcasses were dressed. There were no significant differences between the mean dead weights of the two sexes (bulls = 691.1 kg; cows = 636.5 kg; p = 0.096), the only body measurements found to differ significantly were those of the forelegs, with the shoulder to hoof (p = 0.046) and the knee to hoof (p = 0.025) both being significantly longer in the bulls. The horn measurements were all found to be significantly larger in the bulls than the cows even at this young age. The neck weight as a percentage of the carcass weight was found to be significantly heavier for the bulls compared to the cows, however, the back percentage values were significantly heavier in the cows than the bulls. There was a strong positive correlation between the body weight and most of the body lengths, as well as between most of the individual body measurements. The giraffe used had an average age of 3.7 years old, and had therefore not yet reached their growth plateau, which may be why sex had no influence on most of the body measurements recorded. Full article
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Article
Improving Hunted Wild Boar Carcass Hygiene: Roles of Different Factors Involved in the Harvest Phase
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1548; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071548 - 04 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1198
Abstract
Game meat production strongly differs from that of other meats, as peculiar factors present in the field and in the steps prior to transfer to a game-handling establishment can influence the hygiene of the carcasses and, therefore, of the meat. The effects of [...] Read more.
Game meat production strongly differs from that of other meats, as peculiar factors present in the field and in the steps prior to transfer to a game-handling establishment can influence the hygiene of the carcasses and, therefore, of the meat. The effects of such factors were considered in hunted wild boars based on the main hygienic criteria adopted in meat processing. Environmental, animal, and hunting conditions were studied during two selective hunting seasons in Central Italy. A total of 120 hunted wild boar carcasses were sampled after the skinning process and analyzed for aerobic colony count, Enterobacteriaceae count, and Salmonella spp. isolation. The calculated mean values for aerobic colony and Enterobacteriaceae counts were 3.66 and 2.05 CFU/cm2, respectively, in line with the limits set for the meat of other ungulates by EU legislation. Salmonella spp. showed a prevalence of 2.5% (IC 95%: 1.72–3.27%). Statistical analysis of the data performed with the AIC criterion showed that the main parameter to consider for improving the hygienic level of carcasses is to reduce the time in the refrigerator before skinning, followed by hunting on cold days (<10 °C) without rain, hunting animals <60 kg, and reducing the time between shooting and evisceration. Full article
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Article
Perception of the Health Threats Related to the Consumption of Wild Animal Meat—Is Eating Game Risky?
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1544; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071544 - 04 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 945
Abstract
Consumer interest in game meat has increased in recent years. Consumers appreciate its nutritional value but still have many concerns. Based on data from a quantitative study conducted in the group of 450 purposively selected Polish respondents declaring to consume the game meat, [...] Read more.
Consumer interest in game meat has increased in recent years. Consumers appreciate its nutritional value but still have many concerns. Based on data from a quantitative study conducted in the group of 450 purposively selected Polish respondents declaring to consume the game meat, consumers were segmented concerning the perception of health risks associated with its consumption. Three separate clusters were identified using hierarchical cluster analysis: Indifferent (42%), Fearful (30%), and Selective (28%). The clusters differed significantly in the perception of the role of game in their lives and taking actions to mitigate the health risks associated with its consumption. In addition, their socioeconomic profiles were significantly different. The Indifferent segment—significantly more often than the other segments—believes that game has a positive impact on health, and the way to counteract the health risks is to not eat raw meat. The Selective segment attaches great importance to the choice of consumption place as a warranty of access to safe meat. The Fearful segment is willing to pay more for good quality meat and search for information. The results proved that the game consumers are not a homogenous group. Recognizing the differences can indicate a path for the traders to efficiently meet the consumers’ expectations and needs. Full article
Article
Disentangling Individual Phases in the Hunted vs. Farmed Meat Supply Chain: Exploring Hunters’ Perceptions in Italy
Foods 2021, 10(1), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010174 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1037
Abstract
The growing body of literature concerning the hunted wild game meat (HWGM) supply chain is mainly focused on the final consumer, while little is known about upstream production processes. Even though the hunter plays a central role here, it is not well understood [...] Read more.
The growing body of literature concerning the hunted wild game meat (HWGM) supply chain is mainly focused on the final consumer, while little is known about upstream production processes. Even though the hunter plays a central role here, it is not well understood how hunters themselves perceive their role in the various phases of the production process. The present study explores Italian hunters’ perception of the HWGM supply chain and compares it to their perception towards the conventional farmed meat supply chain. We distinguish several phases of this production process and find that the final phase related to on-site game dressing is considered problematic, perhaps because hunters perceive themselves as less skilled than professional butchers. The results, in fact, show that hunters prefer hunted products over farmed meat, but that they consider hunted wild boar meat less safe compared to farmed pork. Findings from this study provide a rare glimpse from the inside of the supply chain and reveals the needs for a broad risk assessment analysis on the Italian game meat supply chain. Considering the development of the Italian emerging market of the HWGM, our results also highlight the relevance of training activities on hunters in order to increase the safety and quality of the final product. Full article
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Article
Proximate Chemical Composition, Fatty Acid Profile, and Lipid Qualitative Indices of Brown Bear Meat
Foods 2021, 10(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010036 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Although game meat quality has been under the spotlight in numerous studies, the quality of brown bear (Ursus arctos) meat is still unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of sex and age on the proximate chemical [...] Read more.
Although game meat quality has been under the spotlight in numerous studies, the quality of brown bear (Ursus arctos) meat is still unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of sex and age on the proximate chemical composition, fatty acid profile, and lipid indices of brown bear meat. Nine (n = 9) females and nine (n = 9) males were hunted during the Croatian spring hunting period in 2018. Based on age, bears were divided into two groups: <3 years (n = 9; five females and four males) and 4–6 years (n = 9; four females and five males). For analysis purposes, samples of M.semimembranosus were collected. Age was shown to have an effect on the traits analyzed, while sex-related differences were not found. Brown bear meat has a high fat content (average 6.12%), especially in older bears (~9%). The contents of protein, dry matter, and ash were similar to those of other game species. Monounsaturated fatty acids made up approximately 50% of all fatty acids, with the most abundant being C18:1n-9. More favorable profiles of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids were found in younger bears. The ratio of polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids was closer to the recommended ratio than the ratio of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and lipid indices were favorable. Further research is needed to determine seasonal changes in brown bear meat quality. Full article
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Article
The Use of Less Conventional Meats or Meat with High pH Can Lead to the Growth of Undesirable Microorganisms during Natural Meat Fermentation
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1386; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101386 - 01 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1243
Abstract
The bacterial communities that are established during natural meat fermentation depend on the processing conditions and the type of meat substrate used. Six pork samples of variable quality (reflected in pH values) and six less conventional meats (beef, horse, hare, wild deer, wild [...] Read more.
The bacterial communities that are established during natural meat fermentation depend on the processing conditions and the type of meat substrate used. Six pork samples of variable quality (reflected in pH values) and six less conventional meats (beef, horse, hare, wild deer, wild duck, and wild boar) were naturally fermented under controlled conditions in model systems. The development of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS), and enterobacteria was followed using culture-dependent techniques and (GTG)5-PCR fingerprinting of genomic DNA from the isolates obtained. Taken together, Latilactobacillus sakei was the most abundant LAB species, although Latilactobacillus curvatus was more manifest in high-pH pork. Within staphylococci, common species were encountered (i.e., Staphylococcus equorum, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, and Staphylococcus xylosus), although some atypical ones (i.e., Staphylococcus succinus) were also recovered. Within enterobacteria, Serratia spp. prevailed in more acidic pork batches and in beef, whereas Hafnia spp. prevailed in game meat fermentations. Enterobacterial counts were particularly high in fermentations with low acidity, namely for some pork batches, hare, wild duck, and wild boar. These findings should be considered when naturally fermented meat products are manufactured, as the use of game meat or meat with high pH can give rise to safety concerns. Full article
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Article
Game Meat Consumption—Conscious Choice or Just a Game?
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9101357 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1381
Abstract
Game meat is constantly present on the European meat market, but a limited number of consumers are interested in its consumption. Considering the unique features of wild animal meat, we should explore what pushes consumers to include it in their diet. To identify [...] Read more.
Game meat is constantly present on the European meat market, but a limited number of consumers are interested in its consumption. Considering the unique features of wild animal meat, we should explore what pushes consumers to include it in their diet. To identify the motives determining the choice of game meat, a quantitative survey based on the computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI) method was conducted among 450 participants. The statistical analysis based on the logistic regression model allowed us to assess the significance of emotional motives leading to game eating and to investigate the importance of the rational motives related to the quality attributes of game for consumers. It was shown that rational motives influence the consumers’ choice more than emotional factors, while the most important motives are connected with healthcare issues. Consumers, for whom the crucial attributes of quality are taste, nutritional value, and low fat content, constitute a group that might more often include game in their diet in the future. Among the emotional motives, the familiarity, described as a feeling of knowing the product, also has a statistically significant impact on the consumers’ choice. The results obtained may be useful for academic theoreticians and market experts as well. Full article
Article
Isolation, Evaluation, and Identification of Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme Inhibitory Peptides from Game Meat
Foods 2020, 9(9), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9091168 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1247
Abstract
Game meat has been underutilized, while it offers the potential to diversify not only the human diet but also increase food production and the nutritional value of meat products. This study aimed to determine the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activities of the [...] Read more.
Game meat has been underutilized, while it offers the potential to diversify not only the human diet but also increase food production and the nutritional value of meat products. This study aimed to determine the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory activities of the digested game meats (venison and boar meat) compared with those of livestock meats (beef and pork). Through the sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and size chromatography results, we found that the digested products from each meat had different molecular weights. The ACE inhibitory ratio in all tested samples had gradually increased following by the enzyme treatments. ACE inhibitory ratios and the half maximal inhibitory concentration values indicated that digested venison was the most potent inhibitor of ACE activity, followed by the digested boar meat. The level of anserine in digested venison was higher than that in the other meats, but the carnosine level was lower. Through fractionations and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry analysis, five ACE inhibitory peptides were identified from the digested venison. Of these peptides, Isoleucine-Lysine- Glutamic Acid-Valine-Threonine-Glutamic Acid-Arginine (IKEVTER) demonstrated the highest ACE inhibitory activity. Therefore, the game meat is food that is believed potentially to offer high bioactivities, particularly antihypertensive forces. Full article
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Article
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 - 11 Aug 2020
Viewed by 1257
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
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Article
Effects of Animal, Climatic, Hunting and Handling Conditions on the Hygienic Characteristics of Hunted Roe Doer (Caprelous capreolus L.)
Foods 2020, 9(8), 1076; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9081076 - 07 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1011
Abstract
The population of wild animals is increasing, and control strategies based on selective hunting are among the major options adopted. The game meat obtained is therefore available for controlled and certified valuable chains. The understanding of carcass contamination and the factors affecting it [...] Read more.
The population of wild animals is increasing, and control strategies based on selective hunting are among the major options adopted. The game meat obtained is therefore available for controlled and certified valuable chains. The understanding of carcass contamination and the factors affecting it is therefore crucial to ensure meat safety and prolonged shelf-life. The carcass hygiene of 64 hunted wild male roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) was evaluated in relation to factors potentially affecting it. Aerobic colony and Enterobacteriaceae counts, as well as Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes detection, were performed. The interaction of the microbial determination with age and weight of the animals, the climate conditions, the shooting procedure, the time between the killing and the evisceration as well as the time of storage of the carcasses in refrigerated conditions before skinning, were evaluated. Neither Salmonella spp. nor Listeria monocytogenes were detected on the carcasses and the average loads detected were 3.39 ± 1.06 UFC/cm2 and 2.27± 1.11 UFC/cm2 for the aerobic colony count and Enterobacteriaceae count, respectively. The loads detected are similar to those reported by UE legislation for slaughtered species. The time of storage before skinning, the environmental temperature during hunting and the time between shooting and evisceration, associated with animal weight, affect the carcass hygiene and must be taken into careful consideration by hunters as food business operators. Full article
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Article
Fatty Acid Composition of Meat and Edible Offal from Free-Living Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
Foods 2020, 9(7), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9070923 - 14 Jul 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1419
Abstract
The objective of the study was to characterize tissue-associated differences in the fatty acid composition of fat in skeletal muscles M. longissimus dorsi (loin), M. biceps femoris (hind quarter), and M. triceps brachii (shoulder), and internal organs (i.e., liver, heart, and kidney) [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to characterize tissue-associated differences in the fatty acid composition of fat in skeletal muscles M. longissimus dorsi (loin), M. biceps femoris (hind quarter), and M. triceps brachii (shoulder), and internal organs (i.e., liver, heart, and kidney) from free-living red deer (Cervus elaphus) females (n = 11) hunted in Lithuania. Skeletal muscles were characterized by lower content of free fat compared with the offal. The highest percentage of saturated fatty acids was found in the liver fat, whereas the lowest percentage was in the heart. Red deer offal showed significantly lower and higher proportions of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids compared to meat, respectively. Higher proportions of oleic fatty acid in the shoulder and hind quarter compared to the loin were the only significant differences between skeletal muscles. The lowest and the highest n-6 polyunsaturated/n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6/n-3PUFA) ratio were found in the liver and heart, respectively. More favorable lower atherogenic index and higher hypocholesterolemic/hypercholesterolemic ratio found in the offal showed their high nutritional value, however, higher peroxidizability index indicated higher susceptibility to lipid peroxidation compared to skeletal muscles. Full article
Article
Profile of Back Bacon Produced From the Common Warthog
Foods 2020, 9(5), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050641 - 15 May 2020
Viewed by 1148
Abstract
The common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) has historically been hunted and consumed by rural communities throughout its distribution range in Africa. This study aims to develop a processed product from warthog meat in the form of back bacon (Longissimus thoracis et [...] Read more.
The common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) has historically been hunted and consumed by rural communities throughout its distribution range in Africa. This study aims to develop a processed product from warthog meat in the form of back bacon (Longissimus thoracis et lumborum) as a healthy alternative meat product and to determine its chemical and sensory characteristics derived from adult and juvenile boars and sows. The highest scored attributes included typical bacon and smoky aroma and flavor, and salty flavor, as well as tenderness and juiciness. Neither sex nor age influenced the bacon’s chemical composition; the bacon was high in protein (~29%) and low in total fat (<2%). Palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), linoleic (C18:2ω6), oleic (C18:1ω9c), and arachidonic (C20:4ω6) were the dominant fatty acids. There was an interaction between sex and age for the PUFA:SFA ratio (p = 0.01). The differences between sex and age class are considered negligible regarding the overall profile and healthiness of the bacon. Full article
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Article
Chemical Composition of Wild Fallow Deer (Dama Dama) Meat from South Africa: A Preliminary Evaluation
Foods 2020, 9(5), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050598 - 07 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1584
Abstract
Although fallow deer are abundant in South Africa, these cervids remain undervalued as a domestic protein source and little information exists on their meat quality. This study aimed to evaluate the proximate and mineral compositions of the meat from wild fallow deer ( [...] Read more.
Although fallow deer are abundant in South Africa, these cervids remain undervalued as a domestic protein source and little information exists on their meat quality. This study aimed to evaluate the proximate and mineral compositions of the meat from wild fallow deer (n = 6 male, n = 6 female) harvested in South Africa, as affected by sex and muscle. Proximate analyses were conducted on six muscles (longissimus thoracis et lumborum [LTL], biceps femoris [BF], semimembranosus [SM], semitendinosus [ST], infraspinatus [IS], supraspinatus [SS]), whereas mineral analyses were conducted on the LTL and BF. The proximate composition of the muscles ranged from 73.3–76.2% moisture, 20.4–23.1% protein, 2.2–3.2% fat, and 1.1–1.5% ash. Proximate composition was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) influenced by muscle, but not by sex. The primary essential macro- and micro-minerals determined in the LTL and BF were potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and magnesium, as well as iron, zinc, and copper, with more variation in concentrations occurring with muscle than with sex. Minerals in the muscles contributing most notably to human recommended dietary requirements were potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. These findings indicate that wild fallow deer meat is a nutritious food source and should enhance utilisation of such products. Full article
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Article
Physicochemical Composition and Nutritional Properties of Deer Burger Enhanced with Healthier Oils
Foods 2020, 9(5), 571; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9050571 - 04 May 2020
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
Deer meat is characterized by low fat and cholesterol contents and high amounts of protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In this regard, the aim of this work was to assess the influence of pork backfat substitution by healthier oils on chemical composition, fatty [...] Read more.
Deer meat is characterized by low fat and cholesterol contents and high amounts of protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids. In this regard, the aim of this work was to assess the influence of pork backfat substitution by healthier oils on chemical composition, fatty acid profile, texture profile and sensory analysis of deer burger. In addition, pH, color parameters and lipid oxidation were evaluated at 0, 6, 12 and 18 days of storage. For this study, four different treatments of deer burgers—100% pork backfat, 100% tiger nut oil, 100% chia oil, and 100% linseed oil—were elaborated. The fat replacement reduced fat and protein contents and increased moisture amounts, whereas ashes and texture parameters of deer burgers were not affected. Fatty acid profile was significantly improved with the animal fat replacement. In this regard, a significant decrease in saturated fatty acids was found in all reformulated batches, whereas in chia and linseed burger samples a dramatic increase in polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 content and a reduction of n-3/n-6 ratio was observed. In the deer burger prepared with tiger nut oil a significant increase in monounsaturated fatty acids was found. Another important aspect is that the replacement of animal fat by tiger nut or linseed oil emulsion did not affect the global acceptance of deer burgers. Regarding color parameters, redness was the most affected during the whole display presenting a reduction around 50% after 18 days of storage. On the other hand, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) values were also affected by fat replacement and storage time, observing the highest values (2.43 mg MDA/kg) in deer burgers prepared with chia at the end of refrigerated period. Finally, from a commercial point of view, the possibility of making claims such as “low fat burgers”, “reduced saturated fat” or “high content of omega-3” makes the reformulated burgers more attractive to the consumer. Full article
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Article
Carcass Yields and Physiochemical Meat Quality of Semi-extensive and Intensively Farmed Impala (Aepyceros melampus)
Foods 2020, 9(4), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9040418 - 03 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
The effects of sex and production systems on carcass yield, meat quality and proximate composition of sub-adult impala were evaluated by culling 35 impala from intensive (12 males) and semi-extensive (12 males and 11 females) production systems within the same game farm. While [...] Read more.
The effects of sex and production systems on carcass yield, meat quality and proximate composition of sub-adult impala were evaluated by culling 35 impala from intensive (12 males) and semi-extensive (12 males and 11 females) production systems within the same game farm. While no sexual dimorphism was found for carcass weights, male impala had a higher dressing percentage than females, indicating a higher meat production potential. Few differences were observed for yields between the male impala from the different production systems, but physical meat quality parameters indicated possible stress for those kept intensively. Minor differences existed in physiochemical parameters between various impala muscles for the two sexes and production systems, providing little motivation for these factors to be considered when processing sub-adult impala carcasses. Impala meat from both sexes, all muscles and all production systems produced meat with shear force values below 43 N, and thus may be considered as tender. Furthermore, the proximate composition of all impala meat in this study ranged from 74.7 to 77.0 g/100g moisture, 20.7 to 23.5 g/100g protein, 1.2 to 2.2 g/100g fat and 1.1 to 1.3 g/100g ash content. These values compare favorably to other game species, indicating that impala meat may serve as a lean protein source. Full article
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Review

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Review
Toxic Metals in Wild Ungulates and Domestic Meat Animals Slaughtered for Food Purposes: A Systemic Review
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2853; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112853 - 18 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 622
Abstract
The presence of toxic metals in harvested game meat is a cause for concern for public health and meat safety in general. Authorities and food safety agencies continue to develop guidelines and limits of the maximum allowable levels of toxic metals in food [...] Read more.
The presence of toxic metals in harvested game meat is a cause for concern for public health and meat safety in general. Authorities and food safety agencies continue to develop guidelines and limits of the maximum allowable levels of toxic metals in food products. However, the situation is different for game meat products in developing countries, where a number of shortcomings have been identified. This includes a lack of game meat animal slaughter regulations, specific species’ product limits that have not yet been established and the continued use of hunting or game meat animals’ harvesting plans that could introduce the same toxic metals of concern. This review was conducted from English literature published between 2011 and 2021; it highlights the possible health effects and the shortcomings in the implementation of game meat safety production strategies for toxic metals (Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium and Mercury) in game meat animal production. Lead (Pb) remains the most significant threat for toxic metals contamination in game meat animals and the slaughter processes. In most developing countries, including in South Africa, the monitoring and control of these heavy metals in the game meat value chain has not yet been implemented. Full article
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The Use of Organic Acids (Lactic and Acetic) as a Microbial Decontaminant during the Slaughter of Meat Animal Species: A Review
Foods 2021, 10(10), 2293; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10102293 - 28 Sep 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
Wild ungulate species provide a much-needed protein source to many communities in developed and developing countries. Frequently, these game meat animals are slaughtered, and the meat is unknowingly contaminated by microorganisms and released to the unsuspecting public. This review investigates the global usage [...] Read more.
Wild ungulate species provide a much-needed protein source to many communities in developed and developing countries. Frequently, these game meat animals are slaughtered, and the meat is unknowingly contaminated by microorganisms and released to the unsuspecting public. This review investigates the global usage of organic acids (lactic and acetic acids) as microbial decontamination strategies during slaughter. The results show that there is a more open-minded approach to adopting possible decontamination plans as a tool to improve meat safety during slaughter. Developed countries continue to adopt these strategies, while developing countries are lagging behind. While decontamination of carcasses can lead to a reduction of microbial load on these carcasses, this strategy must not be seen as a replacement of hygiene management during the animals’ slaughter. Full article
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