The consumer’s profile has changed, and in recent years, there has been a greater concern for the nutritional quality of meat, especially in relation to fat that compose it. The meat fat composition can contribute to the onset of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, fat is an essential component in the human diet, as well as providing energy; it contains essential fatty acids (FAs) that must be present in food. The meat nutritional properties are largely related to its fat content and fatty acid composition. In addition, fat gives flavor to food, helps in the absorption of vitamins, and plays an important role in the immune response, for humans, and animals. The fat nutritional and sensory quality in meat that is determined by the fatty acid composition can affect the degree of fat saturation, the storage stability, and flavor. There are several factors that can influence the fatty acid composition, such as animals’ species, breed, sex, and diet, causing various changes in carcass, as well as in tissues and chemical meat composition.
Part of the book: Meat Science and Nutrition