Human health is deeply affected by nutrition. The most important nutritional property of a good diet, able to provide an adequate amount of nutrients, to fulfill growth and development requirements, permitting also health maintenance, is variety of foods. Meat can be included in several diets, particularly when they are based on a restricted choice of plant foods. The inclusion of meat and meat products, even in small amounts, can significantly improve many diets; in fact, meat and derived products are good sources of proteins, vitamins and mineral salts. Thermal processes used for cooking meats represent an important factor which affects the minerals and vitamins meat content. Loss of minerals and water-soluble vitamins in cooked meat may occur, depending on the cooking method used. Previous studies investigated on donkey meat nutritional properties, described interesting characteristics of this alternative red meat, rich in protein and in iron, and with low-fat content. This chapter describes the donkey meat chemical composition, showing a comparison with other traditional red meats. The effects of cooking methods on donkey meat vitamins and minerals content will be also evaluated.
Part of the book: Meat and Nutrition