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Meat Sci. 2015 Oct;108:74-81. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 May 14.

Horse-meat for human consumption - Current research and future opportunities.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacy & Food Sciences, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.
2
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, CIISA, Lisbon University, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal.
3
Mountain Livestock Institute, CSIC-ULE, Finca Marzanas, 24346 Grulleros, León, Spain.
4
Guelph Food Research Centre, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Guelph, ON, Canada (retired).
5
Department of Pharmacy & Food Sciences, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Electronic address: noelia.aldai@ehu.eus.

Abstract

The consumption of horse-meat is currently not popular in most countries, but because of its availability and recognized nutritional value consumption is slowly increasing in several western European countries based on claims that it could be an alternative red meat. In this review, horse-meat production, trade and supply values have been summarized. In addition, the advantage of horse production is noted because of its lower methane emissions and increased uptake, particularly of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which is based on its digestive physiology. Of particular interest in this review is the unique fatty acid composition of horse-meat with its high level of the nutritionally desirable PUFAs in both the adipose and muscle fat. Because of its large frame size and digestive physiology, the horse can be considered an alternative to bovine meat, with large advantages regarding the maintenance of less favored mountain grazing areas and its facility to transfer PUFA from feed to meat.

KEYWORDS:

Greenhouse gases; Hindgut fermenter herbivore; Horse-meat; Production; n-3 fatty acids; trans

PMID:
26047980
DOI:
10.1016/j.meatsci.2015.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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