Journal of Rural Development and Agriculture (2017) 2(1): 57-65
57
Variations in meat chemical composition of some captive avian
species
Shahid Javaid
1
, Arshad Javid
2
, Umar Farooq
2
, Ujala Kiran
2
and Tabinda Akmal
2
Key Message This study explores the potential of avian species for the production of quality food and it
reports that the highest moisture contents (78.52%), crude protein contents (82.57%) and ash contents
(5.34%) were recorded in the meat of the M. gallopavo.
ABSTRACT Increasing population of Pakistan puts a lot of pressure for more food production. Therefore, it
is the need of the day to explore potential of avian species for the production of quality food and inclusion in
existing meat resources. A study was conducted to analyze meat chemical composition of domestic pigeon
(Columba livia domestica), wild pigeon (Columba livia), grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus), broiler
chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) and turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). During the investigation, interspecific
variations in meat chemical composition were recorded. The highest moisture contents (78.52%), crude
protein contents (82.57%) and ash contents (5.34%) were recorded in the meat of the M. gallopavo, while the
highest fat contents (16.99%) were recorded in the meat samples of C. livia domestica. Monthly variations in
chemical composition of meat were also recorded during this study. The highest moisture contents were
recorded during the month of January, 2016 followed by February, 2016 and March, 2016. Similarly, the
highest protein contents were observed during the month of March, 2016 followed by February, 2016 and
January, 2016 months. The highest fat contents were recorded during March, 2016 followed by the months of
February, 2016 and January, 2016. Maximum ash contents were observed during January, 2016 followed by
the months of March, 2016 and February, 2016. It can be concluded from the present study that meat of the
turkey, grey francolin and wild and domestic pigeons may also be utilized to fulfill the protein requirements
and these species should be included into the existing poultry industry.
Keywords: Broiler chicken, Chemical composition, Pigeons, Protein content, Turkeys
1
Department of Agricultural Sciences, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad, Pakistan
2
Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
*Corresponding author: Shahid Javaid (shahid.javaid@aiou.edu.pk)
To cite this article as: Javaid, S., Javid, A., Farooq, U., Ujala Kiran, U., & Akmal, T. (2017). Variations in meat
chemical composition of some captive avian species. Journal of Rural Development and Agriculture, 2(1), 57-
65.
INTRODUCTION
Increasing human population demands more food sources, pressurizing poultry industry to enhance meat
production. Furthermore, the consumers prefer organic food with quality nutrient profile, acceptable flavor
and free from contaminants (Owens et al., 2006; Anjum et al., 2016). Meat of the animals is important
components of human nutrition due to their nutritive values and these values are measured in terms of
availability of quality proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats and fatty acids (Pearson & Gillet, 1996). The
tissue and dietary proteins consist of two groups of amino acids, the essential amino acids and the non-
essential amino acids. From the total 20 food amino acids, 10 are essential for infants and 8 for adults. Poultry
meat is a source of quality protein and preferred by the consumers due to a number of attributes including
easy to cook, nutritious, possessing organoleptic properties, high protein contents, low calories and enriched
with essential amino acids necessary for the human health and growth (Panda, 1995). The characteristics of
meat vary with species and are also influenced by the factors such as gender, diet and age of the animals
ORIGINAL PAPER
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58
(Colmenero et al., 2001; Rule et al., 2002; Insausti et al., 2004; Leosdottir et al., 2005; Hoffman & Wiklund,
2006; Krystallis & Arvanitoyannis, 2006).
Meat of the pigeon is highly digestible and contains low fat contents than the meat of many other species
(Gontariu & Buculei, 2009). Pigeons are effectively reared and used for sports, ornamentals, experimental
purposes and for the production of meat (Rahman & Khatun, 1999). Bhuyan et al. (1999) documented that
meat of the pigeon contains high protein and other nutrients than that of chicken meat. Moreover, the pigeons
are mostly used for ceremonial purposes rather to meet protein requirements (Parkhurst & Mountuey, 2004).
Demand for turkey meat is also increasing due to low fat and high protein contents. In addition, the meat of
the turkey is categorized due to high mineral profile (Ribarski et al., 2001). Chemical composition of partridge
meat shows that it contains 55.9-62.4% moisture, 25.2-29.1% protein, 1.6-5.6% lipids, 1.2-1.4% ashes and
70-234 mg/100g cholesterol showing its potential for production of special meat (Moro et al., 2006).
While considering health with growing human population, this is of utmost important to have knowledge
about the foods of animal origin/sources providing good quality and quantity of nutrients specifically in
terms of proteins and energy. Regarding it, special attention was given towards diversified avian breeds for
the production of meat. So, more species have been added in the existing poultry industry like quail, turkey
and ostrich. Therefore, meat is becoming popular among locales in Pakistan. Present study was therefore
planned to find out monthly variations in meat chemical composition of some avian species along with finding
out its nutritional value, as this is directly related with health.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This study was conducted at Avian Conservation and Research Center, Ravi Campus, University of Veterinary
and Animal Sciences, Lahore during January-March, 2016. Size of sample (n = 5) for each bird i.e. domestic
pigeon (Columba livia domestica), wild pigeon (Columba livia), grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus),
broiler chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) and turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) was taken to study their chemical
composition. Month wise variations in chemical composition of domestic and wild were also recorded from
January, 2016 through March, 2016. The birds were cared and grown in controlled conditions closed to
natural conditions for experiment purpose. The meat was taken from breast and thigh parts of birds for
chemical analyses.
Determination of moisture contents and dry matter
Moisture contents and dry matter were determined through loss in meat weight on drying. The meat sample
(5 g) was placed in cleaned and dried petri-dish. It was then oven dried at 103
°
C for 24 h. After cooling in
desiccator, petri-dish was weighed again and moisture (%) contents and dry matter were recorded using
following formulae;
Moisture contents (%) =
Wet weight of sample (W1) dry weightof sample (W3)
Weight of the sample (W2)
× 100
Dry matter = 100 – Moisture %
Determination of crude protein
Meat sample (1 g) was taken in a Kjeldahl digestion flask (500 ml), 5 g digestion mixture (K
2
SO
4
and CuSO
4
)
and 20 ml H
2
SO
4
were then added into it. It was heated until the appearance of light green color. The mixture
was cooled and 250 ml of sample was prepared using distilled water. After that, solution (10 ml) was taken
and 10 ml NaOH solution (40% w/v) was added into it. Liberated ammonia was then collected in 10 ml of
0.01 N H
2
SO
4
with 1 drop of methyl red as an indicator. The sample was titrated again with 0.01 N NaOH until
light blue color appears.
Journal of Rural Development and Agriculture (2017) 2(1): 57-65
59
Crude protein (%) was determined using the formula:
Crude Protein (%) =
V × 0.00014 × D × 100 × 6.25
w × A
Where
“V” is volume of N/10 H
2
SO
4
used; “0.00014” is nitrogen conversion factor; “D” is the quantity of digested and
diluted sample; “100” is to get %age; “6.25” is to convert %age of nitrogen into crude protein; “6.25” is
nitrogen % on dry matter basis; “w” is sample weight in grams; “A” is weight of diluted and digested sample
Determination of crude fat
Meat sample (3 g) was taken into a filter paper pouch, prepared through Whatman filter paper and the pouch
was weighed. Soxhlet’s apparatus was used to extract fats using petroleum benzene at temperature of 60-80
ºC. The extraction continued for 3-4 hours, the sample was then dried at 100 ºC for 30 min. It was the cooled
and final weight of the pouch that was recorded. Fat contents (%) were recorded using following formula:
Fat contents mg/100g of dried sample = Wi – Wf
Fat contents (%) =
Weight of fat (g)
Weight of sample (g)
× 100
Where
“Wi” is initial weight of sample (Before extract) and “Wf” is final weight of sample (After extract)
Determination of ash contents
Dried meat sample (2 g) was taken into the crucible. The crucible was then transferred to the muffle furnace
and heated for 4-6 h. It was then cooled through desiccator and weighed. Ash contents (%) were recorded
using following formula:
Ash contents (%) =
Ash weight
Sample weight
× 100
Statistical analysis
Meat chemical composition of domestic pigeon, wild pigeon, grey francolin, broiler chicken and turkey was
recorded and DMRT was employed at 0.05 probability level to compare their mean values using statistical
software SAS 9.1.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
During present investigation, average moisture contents from domestic and wild pigeons were recorded
68.73 ± 0.99% and 70.70 ± 0.67%, respectively. Protein contents of domestic pigeons were analyzed 69.41 ±
0.54%, while the same were recorded 74.65 ± 0.54% for wild pigeons on dry matter basis. The fat contents
for domestic and wild pigeons were recorded as 16.99 ± 0.56% and 15.04 ± 0.83%, respectively. Ash contents
of domestic and wild pigeons were recorded as 4.20 ± 0.34% and 4.47 ± 0.31%, respectively (Table 1). Apata
et al. (2015) reported that fresh meat of the pigeon contains 67.20% moisture, 20.40% protein, 9.31% fat and
2.05% ash contents. The genetics, type of strain and environmental factors influence chemical composition of
muscle fiber and aid in determining the quality of the meat (Listrat et al., 2016). High moisture contents
69.86% were recorded from domestic pigeon meat during January, 2016 followed by the months of February,
2016 and March, 2016. Similarly, high protein contents (70%) were recorded during the month of January,
2016 followed by February, 2016 and March, 2016. High fat contents (17.53%) were recorded during March,
2016 followed by the months of February, 2016 and January, 2016. Ash contents were high (4.56%) during
January, 2016 followed by February, 2016 and March, 2016 (Fig. 1). High moisture contents (71.27%) were
recorded from the meat samples of wild pigeons during the month of January, 2016 followed by the months
of February, 2016 and March, 2016. The highest protein contents (75.22%) were recorded during the month
of February, 2016 followed by January, 2016 and March, 2016. The highest fat contents (15.72%) were
recorded during the month of March, 2016 followed by February, 2016 and January, 2016. Similarly, high ash
contents (4.76%) were recorded in the month of January, 2016 followed by February, 2016 and March, 2016,
respectively (Fig. 2). Unified meat with better water holding capacity determines the quality of the meat
Journal of Rural Development and Agriculture (2017) 2(1): 57-65
60
(Picard et al., 2012), which in turn is affected by many factors including species, genotypes, nutrition and
slaughtering and processing conditions. These factors also influence structure and chemical composition of
the meat traits and intramuscular biological properties (Gagaoua et al., 2015).
During present study, average moisture contents (72.85 ± 0.67%) and crude protein (83.68 ± 0.52%) were
recorded from the meat of grey francolin on dry matter basis. Similarly, fat contents (4.75 ± 0.27%) and ash
contents (4.06 ± 0.10%) were recorded on dry matter basis in the meat of grey francolin (Table 1). Similar
results were reported by Calik et al. (2015) who documented moisture contents (73.06%), crude protein
(24.87%), fat contents 1.48% and ash contents 1.09% on wet basis. Monthly variations in chemical
composition of meat of grey francolin were also observed during present experiment (Fig. 3). The highest
moisture contents (73.51%) were recorded during the month of January, 2016 followed by February, 2016
and March, 2016. Similarly, the highest protein contents (84.17%) were observed from meat of F.
pondicerianus during the month of March, 2016 followed by February, 2016 and January, 2016. The highest
fat contents (5.05%) were recorded during March, 2016 followed by the months of February, 2016 and
January, 2016. Maximum ash contents (4.16%) were observed during January, 2016 followed by the months
of March, 2016 and February, 2016.
Average moisture contents (75.43 ± 1.12%) of broiler chicken were recorded during present study. Protein
contents of broiler chicken were 79.98 ± 0.69% on dry matter basis, while fat contents (4.50 ± 0.57%) and
ash contents (5.12 ± 0.13%) were recorded on dry matter basis (Table 1). Similar results were reported by Ali
et al. (2007) who documented 75.47% moisture contents, 22.04% protein contents, 1.05% fat contents and
1.07% ash contents from the meat of broiler chicken on wet basis. Month-wise variations in meat chemical
composition of chicken broiler were also recorded. In January 2016, the moisture contents (76.17%) were
recorded higher than that of February, 2016 and March, 2016. Similarly, crude protein contents (80.72%)
were also higher in January, 2016 than that of February, 2016 and March, 2016. In March, 2016 fat contents
(5.07%) were higher as compared to February, 2016 and January, 2016. Similarly, ash contents (5.26%) were
also higher in March, 2016 as compared to January, 2016 and February, 2016 (Fig. 4).
During present experiment, moisture contents of turkey meat were recorded as 78.52 ± 0.67%, protein
contents 82.57 ± 0.57%, fat contents 2.75 ± 0.27% and ash contents 5.34 ± 0.22% on dry matter basis (Table
1). These findings are in line with Karakok et al. (2010) who reported that turkey meat contains moisture
contents 73.12%, protein contents 24.38%, fat contents 1.19% and ash contents 1.43% on wet basis.
Chemical variations in turkey meat from January, 2016 through March, 2016 were also observed during
present experiment. The highest moisture contents (79%) were observed during January, 2016 followed by
the month of March, 2016 and February, 2016. Protein contents were recorded maximum as 83.19% during
January, 2016 followed by the months of February, 2016 and January, 2016. The maximum fat contents
(3.03%) were recorded during March, 2016 followed by the months of February, 2016 and March, 2016,
respectively. The maximum ash contents (5.57%) were recorded during the month of January, 2016 followed
by February, 2016 and March, 2016 (Fig. 5).
Species-wise variations in chemical composition of meat were observed during present study. Moisture
content varied significantly (p<0.05) between meat of domestic pigeon, wild pigeon, grey francolin, chicken
broiler and turkeys. Significantly (p<0.05) higher moisture contents were recorded in turkey meat (Table 1).
Omojola and Adesehinwa (2006) documented that low moisture (p<0.05) contents could be due to singeing
operation. Apata et al. (2012) documented significantly higher (p<0.05) moisture and protein contents from
stewed meat followed by roasted and fried meat.
Significant differences in protein contents of meat were recorded for meat of domestic pigeon, wild pigeon,
grey francolin, chicken broiler and turkey (Table 1). Ali et al. (2007) reported significant (p<0.05) differences
in crude protein, fat and total ash contents between the breast meat samples from the chicken. Crude protein
and ash contents were significantly higher in chicken breast. Herkel (2016) reported significant (p<0.05)
differences in crude protein and fat contents in pectoral muscles of turkey.
Fat contents of meat also varied significantly between domestic pigeon, wild pigeon and turkeys, while
non-significant variations in fat contents were recorded between grey francolin and chicken broilers.
Significantly higher (p<0.05) fat contents were recorded from meat of domestic pigeon, while the same were
the lowest in meat of turkeys (Table 1). Omojola and Adesehinwa (2006) reported that significantly lower
Journal of Rural Development and Agriculture (2017) 2(1): 57-65
61
(p<0.05) fat contents from skinned carcass and it might be attributed to the removal of the skin with some of
the under laying fat.
Non-significant variations in ash contents were observed between chicken and turkey meat however;
turkey meat possessed slightly higher ash contents. Similarly, non-significant variations in ash contents were
recorded for meat sample of domestic pigeon, wild pigeon and grey francolin (Table 1). Ali et al. (2007)
recorded significantly higher ash contents from chicken breast as compared to the leg meat.
Table 1 Variations in chemical composition of meat of some captive avian species
Animal species
Moisture contents
(%)
Crude protein contents
(%)
Fat contents
(%)
Ash contents
(%)
Domestic pigeon
68.73 ± 0.99
e
69.41 ± 0.54
e
16.99 ± 0.56
a
4.20 ± 0.34
b
Wild pigeon
70.70 ± 0.67
d
74.65 ± 0.54
d
15.04 ± 0.83
b
4.47 ± 0.31
b
Grey francolin
72.85 ± 0.67
c
83.68 ± 0.52
c
4.75 ± 0.27
d
4.06 ± 0.10
b
Chicken broiler
75.43 ± 1.12
b
79.98 ± 0.69
b
4.50 ± 0.57
d
5.12 ± 0.13
a
Turkey
78.52 ± 0.67
a
82.57 ± 0.57
a
2.75 ± 0.27
e
5.34 ± 0.22
a
Means with different letters in a column are statistically significant p<0.05. DMRT was employed at 0.05
probability level. The values after ± demonstrate standard deviation.
Meat composition
Fig. 1 Monthly variations in chemical composition of domestic pigeon meat
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Meat composition
Fig. 2 Monthly variations in chemical composition of wild pigeon meat
Meat composition
Fig. 3 Monthly variations in chemical composition of grey francolin meat
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Meat composition
Fig. 4 Monthly variations in chemical composition of chicken broiler meat
Moisture (%)
Crude
Protein (%)
Fat (%)
Ash (%)
0.00%
50.00%
100.00%
150.00%
200.00%
250.00%
March
February
January
Meat composition
Fig. 5 Monthly variations in chemical composition of Turkey meat
Months
Months
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CONCLUSION
It can be concluded from the present study that turkey meat contains higher moisture, protein and ash
contents and lower fat contents than that of domestic pigeon, wild pigeon, grey francolin and chicken.
Authors Contribution Statement Shahid Javaid planned the experiment and refined the manuscript. Arshad Javid helped
in statistical analysis of collected data. Umar Farooq collected data and executed the experiment. Ujala Kiran assisted in
analysis and lab work. Tabinda Akmal helped in collection of data and rearing the birds.
Conflict of Interest The authors have mentioned no conflict of interest.
Acknowledgements The motivations and contributions of Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akram for the initiation of avian captive
breeding facilities at Ravi Campus, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore are highly acknowledged.
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