Meat – sources, types and nutrient composition

Meat and its benefits:

The term meat refers to the muscle of warm blooded four-legged animal. The chief ones being cattle, sheep and pigs. Meat also includes glands and organs of these animals. Meat products include many of the by products from animal slaughter such as animal gut used for sausage, the fat in the manufacturing of lard, gelatine and others.

Different types of meat:

  • Red meat (beef, lamb, goat, bison)
  • Poultry (chicken, Turkey)
  • Pork
  • Seafoods.

Classes of meat and related products:

  • Veal – it is a meat from cattle slaughtered 3 to 4 weeks after birth.
  • Beef – Meat of cattle over one year old.
  • Mutton – Flesh of young animals of both sexes whose age is 12 months or under.
  • Yearling mutton – Carcass of young sheep usually from 12 to 20 months old are termed as yearling mutton. 
  • Mature mutton – Flesh of both male and female of ovine species that are twenty months in age at the time of slaughter.
  • Pork – It is the mate of swine. Good quality pork is obtained from animals between the age of 3 to 12 months before the amount of fat becomes excessive.
  • Organ meat – Liver, kidney, heart, neck area, pancreas and brain.
  • Sausages – made of ground or minced meat and are enclosed in casing.

Nutrient composition of meat:

  • Carbohydrates – These are found only in small quantities in meat. The carbohydrates found in meat are glycogen and glucose.
  • Protein – Meat contains 15 to 20% protein of outstanding nutrient value. The lean meat contains 20 to 22% protein. Of the total nitrogen content of meat 95% is protein and 5% is the amino acid and small peptides. The amino acid made up of meat protein is very good for the maintenance and growth of human tissues.

Benefits of meat:

Just before an animal is slaughtered, the muscles are soft and pliable but immediately upon death as metabolism in the cells is interrupted process begins that lead to a shifting of carcass known as rigour mortis. It is 24 to 48 hours of beef after slaughter first stop when a muscle is under a heavy stress and the oxygen available is not efficient the in aerobic glycolysis system becomes predominant. In glycolysis, glycogen is converted into pyruvate and this is then reduced to lactate under usual conditions lactate enters liver, where it is converted into glucose. The glucose is then carried back to muscle, where eventually glycogen is Re-synthesized. when the animal dies, the circulatory system seizes to work resulting in lack of oxygen due to glycolysis in post-mortem muscle, there is an accumulation of certain waste products especially lactic acid. Also, the ATP concentration decreases and lost in 24 hours or less.

Benefits of meat:

  • Fat: The fat content of meat varies from 5 to 40% with the type, breed and the age of the animal. When the animal is well fed fat deposit subcutaneously as a protective layer around the organs. Meat fats are rich in saturated fatty acids. The cholesterol content of the meat is about 75 mg per 100 grams.
  • Minerals: Calcium and magnesium are essential components of contraction and relaxation of cycle. Fe is the part of red pigment so influences the colour. Meat is the good source of Fe & PH. meat also contains Na & K+. liver is an excellent source of Fe.
  • Vitamins: Meat is an excellent source of some of the vitamins such as B – complex. liver is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin A and Fe. the colour of meat is due to myoglobin and haemoglobin.

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