Camel meat is an ethnic food consumed in the arid regions of the Middle East and Northeast Africa, and could be a potential alternative to red meat for human consumption worldwide due to its profile. nutritional.
According to researchers in India and the United Arab Emirates, current methods such as aging, low temperature storage and pretreatment with antioxidants have been implemented to improve the quality and shelf life of camel meat.
“Very limited research is available on the use of new pretreatment, packaging and processing techniques that may improve the acceptability of camel meat by consumers.», They wrote in Ethnic Food Journal.
In this review, researchers analyzed research articles obtained from online databases such as PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar and explored nutritional composition, as well as various technological interventions such as packaging, pretreatment, and the processing of camel meat.
Camel meat is nutritionally as good as conventional meat sources and has an advantage over beef or lamb due to its low intramuscular fat content, low cholesterol content, and high protein and fat content. iron.
Due to its resilient nature to survive in harsh conditions and its high carcass yield, camel meat is a suitable food source, especially for developing countries.
Traditionally, camel meat has also been consumed in traditional Chinese and nomadic medicine for its health benefits.
Despite its nutritional and health benefits, camel meat has yet to find an organized market, which may be due to limited knowledge of nutritional potential as well as scattered information on methods to improve its quality. overall quality.
“This review will be useful to researchers and will highlight the potential for global acceptance of camel meat as an alternative source of red meat.The researchers said.
Currently, the common packaging for camel meat is cling film.
Very limited literature is available regarding new packaging methods as an intervention to improve the shelf life of camel meat.
Researchers have identified vacuum packaging as a viable way to prevent protein breakdown, lipid oxidation, and limit microbial growth.
In addition, they also suggested active packaging, a new method used in some meats. In other studies, active packaging films based on nanomontmorillonite-chitosan and nanomontmorillonite-carboxymethylcellulose loaded with different concentrations of Ziziphora clinopodioidesThe essential oil has been reported to improve the overall quality of minced meat samples.
It is also possible to use various biopreservation techniques such as refrigeration, modified atmospheric packaging as well as the use of nisin to improve the shelf life of camel meat without any adverse effect on sensory attributes.
“Studies directed towards the development of appropriate packaging for camel meat are needed for shelf life extension which will promote the export of camel meat to countries where camels are not raised.The researchers said.
Currently, various processing methods are used for camel meat, one of which is low temperature aging, which improves muscle tenderness and improves the quality of camel meat.
Another method of processing is low temperature storage to reduce microbes in the meat.
The researchers said fermentation is another promising technique for improving the nutritional content and shelf life of camel meat. It is a natural process already used in other types of meat, using strains such as Lactobacillus sakei, Staphylococcus xylosus,and S. carnosushave been used safely in meat products.
In one study, fermented camel sausages with L. paracaseihad improved physicochemical, microbial and sensory properties. The improvement in flavor, texture and overall acceptability of sausages has been attributed to various catabolic products generated from carbohydrates, fats and proteins by the microbial starter culture, while lactic acid produces by lactic acid bacteria has been reported to promote color.
Various pretreatments have been reported to improve meat quality characteristics and shelf life by reducing microbial load, lipid oxidation and improving color retention in meats.
Current methods include adding antioxidants and herbal extracts to enhance sensory properties and with antimicrobial effect.
Salting is also one of the widely used pretreatments in meat, especially sausages. This is to add nitrates and nitrites, to help maintain color, improve taste and retard microbial growth.
“Further research should be directed towards the implementation of innovative processing and preservation technologies for the development of diverse products with higher consumer acceptance.The researchers said.
The review also looked at the nutritional quality of camel meat, which varied by age, breed, and muscle type.
It has been found that the meat of young camels is generally preferred over the meat of older animals due to its tenderness and color.
Older camels are also said to have a higher cholesterol and fat content in their muscles.
Since camel meat is low in fat and cholesterol, its nutritional profile and health benefits can be used as a marketing strategy to improve consumer acceptance, especially for health conscious consumers.
This research was funded by the University of the United Arab Emirates.
Source: Journal of Ethnic Foods
“A Review of Nutritional Composition, Health Benefits, and Technological Interventions to Improve Consumer Acceptability of Camel Meat: An Ethnic Food from the Middle East”
Authors: Waqas N. Baba, et al.