Nutritional characteristics of emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) meat and its value-added products

Nutritional characteristics of emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) meat and its value-added products

Ronald B. Pegga, Ryszard Amarowiczb, William E. Codec

Food Chemistry
Volume 97, Issue 2, July 2006, Pages 193–202

Abstract
The objectives of the present study were to ascertain the nutritional value (i.e., macro and microconstituents) of emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae, Latham) meat and a value-added product derived therefrom. The contents of creatine, creatinine and phosphocreatine in fresh emu meat and the impact of processing on these bioactives during the production of jerky were of particular interest. For comparative purposes, a beef counterpart was prepared. The proximate compositional data indicated that the macroconstituents of emu meat and the fabricated jerky product were not so different from their beef analogues. Analysis of the microconstituents in emu samples revealed that the levels of a number of nutritionally important oil- and water-soluble vitamins and minerals were typical of those for red meat species. The creatine content in emu meat (29.3 mg/g dry matter) was similar to that of beef; slightly higher creatine levels were detected, however, in the emu jerky (22.8 mg/g dry matter) compared to its beef counterpart, and these were significant (P < 0.01) when the data was analysed on a dry weight basis. This demonstrates a potential for the emu meat snack to be considered as a functional food for athletes looking for performance enhancement, and who are interested in consuming greater quantities of creatine from a natural food source.

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