Chemical composition of wild fallow deer (Dama Dama) meat from South Africa : a preliminary evaluation

Cawthorn, Donna-Maree ; Fitzhenry, Leon Brett ; Kotrba, Radim ; Bures, Daniel ; Hoffman, Louwrens C. (2020)

CITATION: Cawthorn, D. M., et al. 2020. Chemical composition of wild fallow deer (Dama Dama) meat from South Africa : a preliminary evaluation. Foods, 9(5):598, doi:10.3390/foods9050598.

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Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund


The effects of sex and production systems on carcass yield, meat quality and proximate composition of sub-adult impala were evaluated by culling 35 impala from intensive (12 males) and semi-extensive (12 males and 11 females) production systems within the same game farm. While no sexual dimorphism was found for carcass weights, male impala had a higher dressing percentage than females, indicating a higher meat production potential. Few differences were observed for yields between the male impala from the different production systems, but physical meat quality parameters indicated possible stress for those kept intensively. Minor differences existed in physiochemical parameters between various impala muscles for the two sexes and production systems, providing little motivation for these factors to be considered when processing sub-adult impala carcasses. Impala meat from both sexes, all muscles and all production systems produced meat with shear force values below 43 N, and thus may be considered as tender. Furthermore, the proximate composition of all impala meat in this study ranged from 74.7 to 77.0 g/100g moisture, 20.7 to 23.5 g/100g protein, 1.2 to 2.2 g/100g fat and 1.1 to 1.3 g/100g ash content. These values compare favorably to other game species, indicating that impala meat may serve as a lean protein source.

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