Meat Science and Nutrition

Meat Nutrition

Meat plays a significant role in the Western diet. Meat is almost completely digestible and rates high on the nutritional scale as it contains high levels of proteins, consisting of both essential (indispensable) and dispensable amino acids. Essential amino acids need to be supplied on a daily basis by diet, while the body is capable of producing dispensable amino acids on its own. Meat and other animal proteins can supply all the essential amino acids required for the human body. Meat is also rich in B complex vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, but the fat-soluble vitamins are not all found in meat. Minerals essential for the diet, with the exception of calcium, are found in meat, including phosphorus, iron, copper, and trace minerals.

Table 4 lists the vitamins and main nutrients found in meat and meat products.

Table 4 – Nutrients in meat and meat products (Canadian Professional Meat Cutters Association)
Vitamins Sources
A Certain oils, egg yolk, mammalian liver
D Fresh liver oils and fatty tissue
E Green leafy vegetables, animal organs (pituitary gland, adrenals, pancreas, and spleen), milk, butter, and abdominal fat
K Green vegetables, potatoes, fruits, and liver oils
Thiamin B1 Meat, liver, and kidney
Riboflavin B2 Milk and meat
B6 Red meat, liver, kidney, brain, cod liver, egg yolk, and milk
B12 Liver, kidney, and egg yolk
Niacin Liver and red meat
Pantothenic acid Liver, kidney, muscle meat, brain, and egg yolk
Biotin Liver, kidney, muscle meat, egg yolk, and milk
Folic acid Liver, kidney, muscle meat, milk, and cheese




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Meat Cutting and Processing for Food Service Copyright © 2015 by The BC Cook Articulation Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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