Meat quality and nutritional composition of pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) reared in an extensive system.
Carcass cuts, chemical composition, colour, textural parameters, fatty acid and amino acid profiles, macro- and micromineral content and sensory properties of breast and drumstick meat from 10 month old common pheasant produced in an extensive rearing system were analysed. Breast muscle was characterised by a high concentration of protein (254 g/kg), low content of intramuscular fat (1.3 g/kg), considerable amount of Fe-haeme (4.9 mg/kg) low shear force (1.96 kg/cm2) and hardness (4.07 kg/cm2). The main drumstick characteristics were 222 g of protein/kg, 4.0 g of intramuscular fat/g and a significant higher cholesterol concentration compared to that of breast (7.7 vs. 2.9 g/kg). Saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acid mean values for both muscle types were approximately 34.5%, 43.3% and 24.2% of total fatty acid methyl esters, respectively, and n-3 content in breast was significantly higher (3.21% vs. 1.65%). Significant differences were found between the three tissues (breast, drumstick and subcutaneous fat). Large differences in the amino acid profile between breast and drumstick were detected, especially in the non-essential fraction. The main essential amino acids were lysine and leucine, whereas aspartic and glutamic acids were the most important non-essential amino acids. There were significant differences between muscle types in the mineral content with regard to iron, magnesium, sodium and zinc. Pheasant meat is a good nutritional source of iron as 100 g of drumstick may provide 23.6% of the recommended daily amount.