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Composition of Meat


Meat is defined by the Codex Alimentarius as “All parts of an animal that are intended for, or have been judged as safe and suitable for, human consumption”. Meat is composed of water, protein and amino acids, minerals, fats and fatty acids, vitamins and other bioactive components, and small quantities of carbohydrates.

 

Nutritional composition of meats and other food sources per 100g**

Product Water Protein Fat Ash kJ*
Beef
(lean)
75.0 22.3 1.8 1.2 485
Beef
carcass
54.7 16.5 28.0 0.8 1351
Pork
(lean)
75.1 22.8 1.2 1.0 469
Pork
carcass
41.1 11.2 47.0 0.6 1975
Veal
(lean)
76.4 21.3 0.8 1.2 410
Chicken 75.0 22.8 0.9 1.2 439
Venison
(deer)
75.7 21.4 1.3 1.2 431
Beef fat
(subcutaneous)
4.0 1.5 94.0 0.1 3573
Pork fat
(back fat)
7.7 2.9 88.7 0.7 3397
Milk (pasteurized) 87.6 3.2 3.5   264
Egg
(boiled)
74.6 12.1 11.2   661
Bread
(rye)
38.5 6.4 1.0   1000
Potatoes (cooked) 78.0 1.9 0.1   301

**Meat processing technology for small- to medium-scale producers (FAO 2007)
* Kilojoules

 

From the nutritional point of view, meat’s importance is derived from its high quality protein, containing all essential amino acids and it’s highly bio available minerals and vitamins. Meat is rich in Vitamin B12 and iron which are not readily available in vegetarian diets.