Nutritional characteristics of horsemeat in comparison with those of beef and pork

  • Lee, Chong-Eon (National Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, RDA) ;
  • Seong, Pil-Nam (National Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, RDA) ;
  • Oh, Woon-Young (National Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, RDA) ;
  • Ko, Moon-Suck (National Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, RDA) ;
  • Kim, Kyu-Il (Department of Animal Biotechnology, Cheju National University) ;
  • Jeong, Jae-Hong (Hotel Culinary Arts, Ansan College of Technology)
  • Published : 2007.03.31


This study was conducted to determine the nutritional characteristics of horsemeat and bone meal in comparison with those of beef and pork presented by Dietary Reference Intakes For Koreans. Longissimus muscle and large metacarpal bone samples were collected from 20 fattened Jeju horses. Muscle samples were subjected to proximate analysis, assays for fatty acid profile and minerals, and bone samples to mineral assays. Horsemeal had similar levels of protein (21.1 vs 21.0 or 21.1%) and lower levels of fat (6.0 vs 14.1 or 16.1%) compared with beef or pork, respectively. Horsemeat had much higher levels of palmitoleic (8.2 vs 4.4 or 3.3%) and $\alpha-linolenic$ (1.4 vs 0.1 or 0.6%) acids than beef or pork, respectively. Linoleic acid was much higher in horsemeat (11.1%) and pork (10.1%) than in beef (1.6%). PUFA:SFA and n-6:n-3 ratios in horsemeat were 0.29 and 10.2, respectively. There were no big differences in mineral contents between horsemeat, beef and pork. For daily recommended mineral intakes of male adults (Dietary Reference Intakes For Koreans), phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc and copper can be provided up to 24, 2.5, 6.7, 21, 26 and 40%, respectively, by 100 g raw horsemeat, but calcium and manganese levels are negligible. Horse cannon bone had much higher mineral contents especially in calcium (10,193 mg/100 g), phosphorus (5,874 mg/100 g) and copper (0.79 mg/100 g). Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and retinol contents were 0.20, 0.21, 1.65 mg/100 g and $30{\mu}g/100g$, respectively. But ascorbic acid and beta-carotene were not detected. Our data demonstrated that higher levels of palmitoleic and $\alpha-linolenic$ acid in horsemeat than in beef and pork may be beneficial for human health. Horsemeat and bone meal are a good source of some minerals and vitamins.



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