Meaty matter

Meat is being always described as rich people’s diet so there are various attempts to substitute superior quality of meat with inferior ones and adopt other unscrupulous methods to reduce the price of meat. Nepalese meat industry is in its infancy stage and it is running on the brim of social binding. Therefore detection of adulteration/falsification of meat is of utmost importance.

Accidental contamination and intentional adulteration are not uncommon in meat trade. This is an act of debasing meat to the detriment of the consumers. This malpractice is as old as the meat trade and most often takes in comminuted meat trade where legalized slaughterhouse is not in practice. Low priced inferior quality meat is incorporated in more highly valued meats. Such practices result in threats to human health as well. Not only that, it has also posed serious problems for enforcement of acts and regulations of meat products.

Meat is of various kinds and each kind has different characteristics. Veal is pale grey to grayish red in color. Marbling is absent. Consistancy is firm to loose. Fat is reddish yellow to white yellow, pure white, loose and greasy. Bone marrow is pink red. Goat meat is dark red, firm, dense and has fine fibres. Marbling is absent to scanty. Subcutaneous and kidney fat is high.

Fat is pure white, hard, firm and brittle. Bone marrow is firm and slightly red. Sheep meat is paler than sheep. Fat and bone marrow are similar to sheep. Subcutaneous and kidney fat is very less and has characteristic sheep-like smell. Pork is greyish white to dark red. The fibres are fine. Fat is pure white in color, finely granular and soft. Marbling is abundant subcutaneous and muscular fat. Bone marrow is pink red and soft. On boiling, colour of pork becomes whitish grey and much lighter than meat of other animals. Poultry meat is pale with few red muscle fibres. Meat of chicken, turkey and capons is generally called white meat while that of geese, ducks and pigeons is dark and fat quantity is very small and oily in consistency. The meat of hunted deer is always dark red to brownish red in color. Marbling is absent or very less. The muscles are very well developed. Flavour of meat is pronounced. Collagen deposition in muscles is high.

There are many laboratory based chemical, biochemical as well molecular diagnostic methods available to detect the adulteration of market meat. Quality assurance along with food and nutritional security aspects in the present day context are more complex and inter-related.