Zebra: more than just stripes

Hoffman, Louw, author
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, publisher
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Zebra (Equus quagga burchellii) are growing in number in southern Africa, with the meat from surplus animals holding potential to contribute to food security and economic stability. Despite being consumed locally and globally, little information exists on the composition of zebra meat. This study aimed to determine the proximate composition of zebra meat as well as the fatty acid composition of the intramuscular (IMF) and subcutaneous (SCF) fat. Zebra longissimus lumborum muscle was shown to have a high mean protein content (22.29 g per 100g) and low mean fat content (1.47 g per 100 g). High proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were found in the IMF (41.15%) and SCF (37.71%), mainly comprising -linolenic (C18:3n-3) and linoleic (C18:2n-6) acids. Furthermore, the IMF and SCF had favourable PUFA/saturated fatty acid ratios (>0.4) and omega-6/omega-3 ratios (<4), indicating that both components are healthy lipid food sources. This study has shed new light on the nutritional value of zebra meat, which will not only be important for food product labelling, nutritional education and incorporation into food composition databases, but will also be indispensable for marketing and export purposes.
Presented at the 9th international wildlife ranching symposium: wildlife - the key to prosperity for rural communities, held on 12-16 September 2016 at Hotel Safari & the Safari Court, Windhoek, Namibia.
Includes bibliographical references.
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