The effects of region and gender on the fatty acid, amino acid, mineral, myoglobin and collagen contents of impala (Aepyceros melampus) meat
The effects of sex and region on the fatty acid profile, mineral contents, collagen and myoglobin contents of impala (Aepyceros melampus) meat were investigated. The study was conducted in the Limpopo Province of South Africa where impala were sampled from two separate regions. Female animals at Mara showed higher levels (P < 0.05) of saturated (SFA), and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) in their tissues than the male animals. The females at Musina also showed a tendency (P < 0.10) towards higher levels of SFA and MUFA than the males. Males from both regions showed higher levels (P < 0.05) of poly-unsaturated fat than the females. Myristic, palmitic and stearic acid made up the greatest proportion of the SFA component for the males and females from both regions. Oleic acid represented the largest component of the MUFA, with the Mara animals showing higher levels than the Musina animals, α-linoleic, γ-linoleic, and linolenic acid made up the largest proportions of the poly-unsaturated component for both of the regions. Neither region nor sex had any influence on the amino acid content of the meat. The male animals at Mara had lower (P < 0.05) myoglobin contents than the females for that region. Region had no effect on the myoglobin content of the meat. No significant sex or regional differences were found in the hydroxyproline and collagen contents of the meat (P > 0.05). Regional differences (P < 0.05) were found in the amounts of phosphorous and calcium present in the meat. The male animals at Mara were found to have higher levels of zinc than the females. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.