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Type of publication: Original Article in Series
Type of document:

Year: 2014

Authors: Valencak, T; Gamsjäger, L

Title: Lipids in tissues of wild game: overall excellent fatty acid composition, even better in free-ranging individuals.

Source: IN: Paulsen, P [Hrsg.]: Trends in game meat hygiene: From forest to fork. Wageningen, Wageningen Academic Publishers, pp. 335-344. ISBN: 978-90-8686-238-2.



Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Valencak Teresa

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology


Abstract:
Intensive farming of livestock associated with the use of polluted animal feed and consumer deception has increased awareness about risks for human nutrition. In parallel, the demand for meat - produced through sustainable agriculture including more natural conditions for animals and allowing them to freely forage - has increased. Thus, organic farming has boomed in the last few years. Interestingly, the consumption of game meat has not become more common despite its excellent quality and content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are long-chain carbohydrate chains that constitute membranes. Due to a lack of the necessary enzymes most mammals need to ingest them through their diet. PUFAs positively affect health in several ways so regular consumption is highly recommended and considered vital both for humans and most mammals. Particularly the n-3 group among the PUFAs are thought to prevent cardiovascular problems as well as to improve eyesight, and lower the risk of developing cancer and neurological disorders. Over the past years, we examined fatty acid composition of game meat from the most common animals hunted in Austria. It was observed that game meat has a very favourable fatty acid composition, particularly due to its high proportion of n-3 PUFAs. To determine influence of body condition we separated polar lipids and neutral lipids. Data on both mammals and birds are presented and it is concluded that, although game meat represents a high quality meat source, it is generally mostly overlooked by consumers.

Abstract:
Intensive farming of livestock associated with the use of polluted animal feed and consumer deception has increased awareness about risks for human nutrition. In parallel, the demand for meat – produced through sustainable agriculture including more natural conditions for animals and allowing them to freely forage – has increased. Thus, organic farming has boomed in the last few years. Interestingly, the consumption of game meat has not become more common despite its excellent quality and content of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are long-chain carbohydrate chains that constitute membranes. Due to a lack of the necessary enzymes most mammals need to ingest them through their diet. PUFAs positively affect health in several ways so regular consumption is highly recommended and considered vital both for humans and most mammals. Particularly the n-3 group among the PUFAs are thought to prevent cardiovascular problems as well as to improve eyesight, and lower the risk of developing cancer and neurological disorders. Over the past years, we examined fatty acid composition of game meat from the most common animals hunted in Austria. It was observed that game meat has a very favourable fatty acid composition, particularly due to its high proportion of n-3 PUFAs. To determine influence of body condition we separated polar lipids and neutral lipids. Data on both mammals and birds are presented and it is concluded that, although game meat represents a high quality meat source, it is generally mostly overlooked by consumers.

Keywords:
human nutrition, sustainable hunting, game meat, fatty acids, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids


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