Analysis of the Mineral Content of Venison and Beef and Assessing Consumer Taste preferences
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(2015) Analysis of the Mineral Content of Venison and Beef and Assessing Consumer Taste preferences, no. 25.
Background: Evidence over the last few decades' shows obesity has been gradually increasing world wide. The importance of a healthy diet low in fat with an emphasis on exercise has been highlighted to individuals to combat this disease. To achieve a healthier diet swapping some foods for healthier alternatives have been recommended usually on the grounds of the diets fat content. Another health issues affecting the world population is mineral deficiencies e.g. Iron deficiency. When swapping foods for healthier alternatives choosing foods that are rich in minerals could decrease the incidence of mineral deficiencies. Venison has long been thought of as a niche product and not as popular as other red meats. Evidence has shown venison to be a leaner red meat due to its lower fat content compared to others such as beef. This study will investigate if people like the taste of venison and how does venison's mineral content compare to beef. This will ascertain if venison can be considered a viable option for people to swap over too. Objective: To investigate the mineral content of venison and beef to ascertain if swapping to venison from beef is a healthier option, while assessing consumer taste preferences. Methods: A consumer taste preference pilot study was carried out first. The main consumer taste preference study used the single blind randomised control tasting method using 21 subjects that recorded their results on a sensory questionnaire. The mineral content of venison raw (N=3), cooked (N=3) and beef raw (N=3) and cooked (N=3) were calculated by reducing samples to ash via ashing oven, and then using an Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectroscopy (ICPE). Results: The most important attributes when buying meat were overall liking, flavour intensity and nutritional content. The flavour intensity attribute of venison over beef was preferred P= 0.01. The Overall liking attribute of venison over beef was preferred with P=0.008. 71% of subjects would choose venison over beef. Raw venison vs raw beef had a significant difference in Iron P=.038, Potassium P=.027 and Sodium P=.001. Cooked venison vs cooked beef had significant difference in potassium P=.025 and sodium P=.014. No significant difference was found in iron. Raw beef vs cooked beef had significant difference in potassium P=0.001. The sodium to potassium ratio in venison was 16.82% that was higher than the beef sodium to potassium at 4.98%. Conclusion: There were a significant difference in Iron, Potassium, and Sodium in raw venison vs raw beef although iron lost its significance in the cooked meat category. Iron is an important mineral for the human body especially in those who are iron deficient. Venison is a good source of Iron just not significantly high enough to justify swapping from beef to it. The higher concentration of potassium and sodium in venison doesn't necessarily equate to health benefits as too little or too much of these minerals can cause health problems. The study population enjoyed the venison making it a viable meat option however the health benefits would come from its lesser fat content that previous studies have found. Further research could provide useful with different cooking methods but initially this study suggests no health benefits by way of its mineral contents to justify swapping beef for venison. Keywords: venison, beef, minerals, iron, potassium, sodium,