Pigeon, A Replacement?

June 17/Life Science Weekly -- "Two muscles, breast and thigh, were excised from three pigeon meat-type breeds (Europigeon, Wroclawski, King) and were analyzed for proximate analysis, cholesterol content, and fatty acid (FA) profile. Among the breeds considered, the lowest protein content of breast muscle was found in Kings (21.73%), whereas the highest fat (7.07%) and ash (1.11%) content of breast muscle (P <=0.01) was located in Wroclawski pigeons," scientists in Olsztyn, Poland, report.

"The cholesterol content of both muscles was lowest in Europigeon (23.6 to 25.2mg/100g of tissue) as compared with the King and Wroclawski pigeons (30.2-44.4mg/100g of tissue). The total content of polyunsaturated FA was lower in thigh than in breast muscles (by 4.5-12%, depending on the breed). As far as FA composition is concerned, pigeon meat resembles meat types of poultry species," wrote J.F. Pomianowski and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "However, due to low cholesterol and a fairly high protein content, pigeon meat can be used as a valuable inclusive component of the human diet."

Pomianowski and colleagues published their study in Poultry Science ("Chemical Composition, Cholesterol Content, and Fatty Acid Profile of Pigeon Meat as Influenced by Meat-type Breeds." Poultry Science.

For more information, contact J.F. Pomianowski, University of Warmia & Mazury Olsztyn, Dept. of Commod Science & Food Research, Faculty Food Science, Plac Cieszynski 1, PL-10957 Olsztyn, Poland.

From the June 22, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition