Nutritional status of meat by-products


Meat by-products are claimed to have many essential nutrients. These can be used as food and medicines, as they are comprised of several nutrients including essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, hormones and minerals. Some common examples of edible meat by-products are brain, kidneys, lungs, tripe and spleen. Moreover, organ meat (kidney, liver) has a considerable amount of carbohydrates (Devatkal, Mendiratta, Kondaiah, Sharma, & Anjaneyulu, 2004). Organ meat from the cattle source such as liver, ear, feet and tail has a similar protein contents as that of the lean meat. Moreover, ears and feet have a significant quantity of collagen (Unsal & Aktas, 2003). Moreover, amino acid profile of the organ meat is quite diverse from lean meat due to the presence of large portion of connective tissue and these products also have significant quantities of hydroxyproline, glucine and proline and traces of tyrosine and tryptophan.



Organ meat also contains higher portion of vitamins as compared to lean meat. Liver and kidneys contain a considerable riboflavin contents which are 5–10 times greater than the lean meat. Furthermore, liver is also a good source of vitamin B complex, ascorbic acid, niacin, vitamin A and folacin. Significant quantities of folacin, vitamin B6 and B12 are also present in the kidneys. Lamb liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs are also considered as good source of iron several vitamins (Devatkal, Mendiratta, & Kondaiah, 2004). Beef and lamb liver also contains highest copper contents that contribute 90–350% of the RDA of copper (2 mg/day). Highest level of manganese is also reported in liver. Thymus and sweetbread contain the highest phosphorus and potassium levels (Devatkal, Mendiratta, Kondaiah, Sharma, et al., 2004).



In addition to this, meat by-products also contain almost same or lesser amount of sodium than lean tissue. Contribution of organ meat (100 g serving) to the RDA of different nutrients and micronutrient profile (mg/100 g) of organ meat is given in Tables 1 and 2 respectively








Table 1


Contribution of organ meat (100 g serving) to the RDA of different nutrients.

NutrientsPercentage of RDA obtained
Vitamin A450–1100
Vitamin B665
Ascorbic acid37
Vitamin B123700




Table 2


Micronutrients associated with organ meat.

NutrientAmount present in organ meat (mg/100 g)











phospholipids. For this reason, United States Department of Health en-dorses that consumption of meat by-products should be limited. Other reasons for limited consumption of organ meats are the presence of high cholesterol contents, possible accrual of drugs and toxic heavy metals. However, cholesterol can also be used in the cosmetic in-dustry as emulsifier (Ejike & Emmanuel, 2009).





Devatkal, S., Mendiratta, S.K., Kondaiah, N., Sharma, M.C., & Anjaneyulu, A.S.R. (2004). Physicochemical, functional and microbiological quality of buffalo liver. Meat Science, 68, 79–86.



Devatkal, S., Mendiratta, S.K., & Kondaiah, N. (2004). Quality characteristics of loaves from buffalo meat, liver and vegetables. Meat Science, 67, 377–383.


Unsal, M., & Aktas, N. (2003). Fractionation and characterization of edible sheep tail fat. Meat Science, 63, 235–239.


Ejike, C.E.C.C., & Emmanuel, T.N. (2009). Cholesterol concentration in different parts of bovine meat sold in Nsukka, Nigeria: Implications for cardiovascular disease risk.


African Journal of Biochemistry Research, 3, 095–097.




The authors of this article are

  1. Syed Mudabbar Hussain Shah from Department of Food Engineering. a
  2. Syed Shabbar Hussain Shah from Department of Soil Science. a
  3. Mirtab Ali from Department of Food Science & Technology. a


*a = University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.




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