Study of morphology, chemical, and amino acid composition of red deer meat
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AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate red deer (maral) meat quality based on chemical composition, pH, water-binding capacity (WBC), and amino acid content. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Maral meat surface morphology measurements were obtained by scanning electron microscopy. Active acidity (pH) was determined by potentiometry. Samples were analyzed for WBC by exudation of moisture to a filter paper by the application of pressure. Chemical composition (moisture, protein, fat, and ash fractions) was obtained by drying at 150°C and by extraction, using ethylic ether, and ashing at 500-600°C. The amino acid composition was obtained by liquid chromatography. RESULTS: Maral meat, with a pH of 5.85 and an average moisture content of 76.82%, was found to be low in fat (2.26%). Its protein content was 18.71% while its ash content was 2.21%. The amino acid composition showed that lysine (9.85 g/100 g), threonine (5.38 g/100 g), and valine (5.84 g/100 g) predominated in maral meat, while phenylalanine (4.08 g/100 g), methionine (3.29 g/100 g), and tryptophan (0.94 g/100 g) were relatively low in maral meat compared to other meats. The average WBC was found to be 65.82% and WBC was found to inversely correlate with moisture content. CONCLUSION: Low-fat content, high mineral content, and balanced amino-acid composition qualify maral meat as a worthy dietary and functional food.