Advances in the Game Production Chain: A Sustainable Approach to Safety, Quality, and Consumer Perception of Game Meat and Products

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Meat".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 October 2024 | Viewed by 8250

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Interests: food safety; food quality; food and feed contaminants; aflatoxins; fish products; dietary exposure; dairy products; heavy metals; acrylamide; by-products; sustainable food production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Interests: meat and meat product quality; meat and meat product safety; antioxidant; game meat; meat hygiene
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Perugia, Via San Costanzo 4, 06126 Perugia, Italy
Interests: food safety; food quality; food contaminats; food spoilage bacteria; foodborne pathogens; exposure assessment; dietary exposure; dairy products; meat products; seafood products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Consumers' interest in eating game meat obtained from sustainable hunting is increasing worldwide, particularly in territories where hunting is a relevant and resilient practice. The peculiar nutritional and sensory characteristics, as well as the sustainability of the production and the avoidance of chemicals and veterinary drugs, confer to this production a high added value meeting the needs of the modern consumer's approach to food consumption. The game meat production chain is under hunters’ control in the wild environment, and the lack of specific and harmonized guidelines could lead to the incorrect implementation of hygienic procedures, potentially threatening consumers' health or affecting the products’ shelf life. Numerous game species, from those widely diffused to those less known, are attracting attention for their possible exploitation in the food production chain; therefore, further investigation is needed to define their physicochemical, nutritional, sensory, and hygienic characteristics. The scientific interest as well as the productivity related to game meat have grown remarkably, and therefore, a continuation of the successful Special Issue of Foods on “Game Meat and Game Meat Products: Safety, Quality and Consumer Perception” is proposed. In this new Special Issue of Foods, “Advances in Game Production Chain: A Sustainable Approach to Safety, Quality and Consumer Perception of Game Meat and Products”, we encourage the submission of manuscripts focused on all aspects of the game meat production chain. These can include the validation of the best procedures to be adopted during hunting and slaughtering, the definition of sanitary aspects of the animals that could affect meat safety, the evaluation of the transport and handling of carcasses, the assessment of production process’ impact on meat quality and safety, the application of green strategies to improve meat and products’ hygiene and safety, as well as the assessment of microbiological, physicochemical, nutritional, and sensory characteristics of all kinds of game meat and meat products.

We invite researchers to contribute original and unpublished research and review articles on this topic.

Dr. Raffaella Branciari
Prof. Dr. David Ranucci
Dr. Rossana Roila
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • game meat
  • game meat products
  • green strategies
  • shelf life
  • carcass contamination
  • decontamination
  • carcass handling
  • chemical composition
  • sensory properties
  • rheological parameters

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 824 KiB  
Article
Carcass Characteristics and Meat Quality of Wild-Living Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos L.) Originating from Croatia
by Nikolina Kelava Ugarković, Dalibor Bedeković, Kristina Greiner, Nera Fabijanić, Zvonimir Prpić and Miljenko Konjačić
Foods 2024, 13(10), 1519; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13101519 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 385
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of sex and hunting location on carcass characteristics and meat quality of wild-living mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) from Croatia. Twenty-eight mallards (14 ♂; 14 ♀) were hunted at two hunting locations (HL [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of sex and hunting location on carcass characteristics and meat quality of wild-living mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) from Croatia. Twenty-eight mallards (14 ♂; 14 ♀) were hunted at two hunting locations (HL I = 8 ♂, 8 ♀; HL II = 6 ♂, 6 ♀) in the Croatian lowlands. The carcasses were eviscerated, dressed, and dissected, and the individual internal organs and carcass parts were weighed. The breast muscle (m. pectoralis major) was sampled and used to determine color, pH, drip loss, cooking loss, shear force, and proximate chemical and fatty acid composition. Sex and HL had a significant effect on the majority of carcass characteristics analyzed, but they had no effect on the physical meat parameters. The protein and ash content of mallard meat was significantly higher in HL II (23.16% vs. 22.67%; 1.45% vs. 1.36%, respectively) and the moisture content in females (72.40% vs. 71.59%). HL had a significant effect on SFA (II 33.96% vs. I 29.91%), PUFA n-3 (II 3.55% vs. I 2.69%), PUFA/SFA and n-6/n-3 ratios, and all lipid indices. Females had a significantly higher C22:6n-3 content, a higher PI index and a lower n-6/n-3 ratio. The data presented in this study contribute to a better understanding of game-bird meat quality originating from different regions. Full article
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10 pages, 498 KiB  
Article
Preventing Microbial Growth in Game Meat by Applying Polyphenolic Extracts from Olive Mill Vegetation Water
by Caterina Altissimi, Rossana Roila, David Ranucci, Raffaella Branciari, Dongjie Cai and Peter Paulsen
Foods 2024, 13(5), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13050658 - 22 Feb 2024
Viewed by 726
Abstract
We studied the efficacy of different formulations of polyphenol extracts (mainly containing hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol) from olive mill vegetation water on the microflora on the surfaces of game meat cuts with high or low initial bacterial loads. Meat with a high microbial load [...] Read more.
We studied the efficacy of different formulations of polyphenol extracts (mainly containing hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol) from olive mill vegetation water on the microflora on the surfaces of game meat cuts with high or low initial bacterial loads. Meat with a high microbial load (>5 Log cfu/g; mean value = 6.83 ± 0.45 standard deviation) was immersed for 10 or 60 sec into 25% and 10% solutions of microencapsulated freeze-dried and non-encapsulated polyphenolic extracts. Aerobic colony, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas spp., and lactic acid bacteria counts were determined on treated samples compared to controls after 7 days of storage (in vacuum-packed conditions at +3 °C). Significant differences were registered only for aerobic colony count for a 10% liquid extract treatment (0.64 log reduction). In contrast, the dipping or immersion of game meat with low initial microbial loads (<5 Log cfu/g; mean value = 3.58 ± 0.72 standard deviation) in 10% solutions of the polyphenol extracts effectuated significant reductions in all bacteria counts (p < 0.002) at 7 and 14 days of storage for different extracts, independently from the application methods. The use of the extracts to inhibit bacterial growth in game meat should only be considered if a good hygienic baseline is guaranteed. Full article
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10 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Sex on the Chemical and Mineral Composition of the Meat, Bone and Liver of Giraffe (Giraffa giraffa angolensis)
by Louwrens Christiaan Hoffman, Bianca L. Silberbauer, Tersia Needham, Daniel Bureš, Radim Kotrba and Philip E. Strydom
Foods 2024, 13(3), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13030394 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Consumers tend to buy meat based on visual physical characteristics, which are affected by the chemical composition of the meat, and there is very little known about the chemical composition of the meat of giraffe. This study therefore aims to broaden the knowledge [...] Read more.
Consumers tend to buy meat based on visual physical characteristics, which are affected by the chemical composition of the meat, and there is very little known about the chemical composition of the meat of giraffe. This study therefore aims to broaden the knowledge base on the chemical composition of giraffe meat, rib bone and liver. Eight different muscles from 15 giraffes were analyzed to determine the chemical composition, yielding an average moisture of 77.2 ± 0.09 g/100 g meat, an average protein of 20.8 ± 0.09 g/100 g meat, an average intramuscular fat (IMF) of 1.4 ± 0.03 g/100 g meat and an average ash of 1.1 ± 0.01 g/100 g meat. There was a significant interaction between sex and muscle for the moisture, protein and ash contents, while only muscle had an effect on the fat content. The mineral content of the bone, liver and Longissimus thoracis et lumborum muscle was also analyzed, and bone was found to be a rich source of calcium (highest concentration), whilst the liver had the highest concentration of iron. The chemical composition of the giraffe meat was such that it could be classified as lean meat. Full article
18 pages, 1672 KiB  
Article
Hunted Wild Boars in Sardinia: Prevalence, Antimicrobial Resistance and Genomic Analysis of Salmonella and Yersinia enterocolitica
by Giuliana Siddi, Francesca Piras, Maria Pina Meloni, Pernille Gymoese, Mia Torpdahl, Maria Fredriksson-Ahomaa, Mattia Migoni, Daniela Cabras, Mario Cuccu, Enrico Pietro Luigi De Santis and Christian Scarano
Foods 2024, 13(1), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods13010065 - 23 Dec 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 996
Abstract
The objective of this investigation was to evaluate Salmonella and Yersinia enterocolitica prevalence in wild boars hunted in Sardinia and further characterize the isolates and analyse antimicrobial resistance (AMR) patterns. In order to assess slaughtering hygiene, an evaluation of carcasses microbial contamination was [...] Read more.
The objective of this investigation was to evaluate Salmonella and Yersinia enterocolitica prevalence in wild boars hunted in Sardinia and further characterize the isolates and analyse antimicrobial resistance (AMR) patterns. In order to assess slaughtering hygiene, an evaluation of carcasses microbial contamination was also carried out. Between 2020 and 2022, samples were collected from 66 wild boars hunted during two hunting seasons from the area of two provinces in northern and central Sardinia (Italy). Samples collected included colon content samples, mesenteric lymph nodes samples and carcass surface samples. Salmonella and Y. enterocolitica detection was conducted on each sample; also, on carcass surface samples, total aerobic mesophilic count and Enterobacteriaceae count were evaluated. On Salmonella and Y. enterocolitica isolates, antimicrobial susceptibility was tested and whole genome sequencing was applied. Salmonella was identified in the colon content samples of 3/66 (4.5%) wild boars; isolates were S. enterica subs. salamae, S. ser. elomrane and S. enterica subs. enterica. Y. enterocolitica was detected from 20/66 (30.3%) wild boars: in 18/66 (27.3%) colon contents, in 3/66 (4.5%) mesenteric lymph nodes and in 3/49 (6.1%) carcass surface samples. In all, 24 Y. enterocolitica isolates were analysed and 20 different sequence types were detected, with the most common being ST860. Regarding AMR, no resistance was detected in Salmonella isolates, while expected resistance towards β-lactams (blaA gene) and streptogramin (vatF gene) was observed in Y. enterocolitica isolates (91.7% and 4.2%, respectively). The low presence of AMR is probably due to the low anthropic impact in the wild areas. Regarding the surface contamination of carcasses, values (mean ± standard deviation log10 CFU/cm2) were 2.46 ± 0.97 for ACC and 1.07 ± 1.18 for Enterobacteriaceae. The results of our study confirm that wild boars can serve as reservoirs and spreaders of Salmonella and Y. enterocolitica; the finding of Y. enterocolitica presence on carcass surface highlights how meat may become superficially contaminated, especially considering that contamination is linked to the conditions related to the hunting, handling and processing of game animals. Full article
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21 pages, 3081 KiB  
Article
Cause and Effect Analysis between Influencing Factors Related to Environmental Conditions, Hunting and Handling Practices and the Initial Microbial Load of Game Carcasses
by Birsen Korkmaz, Denny Maaz, Felix Reich, Carl Gremse, Annina Haase, Rafael H. Mateus-Vargas, Anneluise Mader, Ingo Rottenberger, Helmut A. Schafft, Niels Bandick, Karsten Nöckler, Thomas Alter, Monika Lahrssen-Wiederholt and Julia Steinhoff-Wagner
Foods 2022, 11(22), 3726; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11223726 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
Environmental, hunting and handling factors affect the microbial load of hunted game and the resulting meat products. The aim of this study was to systematically investigate the influence of several factors on the initial microbial load (IML) of game carcasses during the early [...] Read more.
Environmental, hunting and handling factors affect the microbial load of hunted game and the resulting meat products. The aim of this study was to systematically investigate the influence of several factors on the initial microbial load (IML) of game carcasses during the early hunting chain. Eviscerated roe deer body cavities (n = 24) were investigated in terms of total viable count and the levels of Pseudomonas spp., Lactobacillus spp., Enterobacteriaceae and Escherichia coli (E. coli). Furthermore, a risk analysis based on the obtained original IML data, literature search and a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) was performed. The IML could be explained in a regression model by factors including the higher body weight (BW), damaged gastrointestinal tract by the shot, ambient temperature or rain. The levels of Lactobacillus spp. (p = 0.0472), Enterobacteriaceae (p = 0.0070) and E. coli (p = 0.0015) were lower on the belly flap surface when gloves were used during evisceration. The literature search revealed that studies examining influencing factors (IF) on the IML of game carcasses found contradictory effects of the comparable IF on IML. Potential handling failures may lead to a higher IML of game carcasses during the early hunting chain ranked by FMEA. Several handling practices for game carcasses are recommended, such as ensuring efficient cooling of heavier BW carcasses to limit bacterial growth or eviscerating heavier carcasses before lighter ones. Full article
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Review

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21 pages, 1072 KiB  
Review
The Influence of Sensory Characteristics of Game Meat on Consumer Neuroperception: A Narrative Review
by Marius-Mihai Ciobanu, Diana-Remina Manoliu, Mihai-Cătălin Ciobotaru, Bianca-Georgiana Anchidin, Mădălina Matei, Mugurel Munteanu, Gabriela Frunză, Otilia Cristina Murariu, Elena-Iuliana Flocea and Paul-Corneliu Boișteanu
Foods 2023, 12(6), 1341; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12061341 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2671
Abstract
Game meat contains bioactive compounds that directly influence the formation of a rich reservoir of flavor precursors that produce specific sensory properties. Quality is considered one of the most influential determinants of consumer behavior, but the interpretation of this concept differs between consumers. [...] Read more.
Game meat contains bioactive compounds that directly influence the formation of a rich reservoir of flavor precursors that produce specific sensory properties. Quality is considered one of the most influential determinants of consumer behavior, but the interpretation of this concept differs between consumers. Although recognized for its quality, its unique sensory characteristics (smell, taste, aroma) may have a major impact on consumer perception. The aim of this review is to describe the consumer behavior regarding game meat through elements of neuroperception, using methods of analysis, observation, and interpretation of scientific information from the literature. Following the analysis of published papers on this topic, it was shown that external factors influencing the biological basis of behavior could provide explanations for the acceptance or rejection of this type of meat and solutions. Neuroperception can explain the mechanism behind consumer decision-making. The influence of extrinsic factors (environment, mood, emotions, stress) shapes the perception of the quality attributes of game meat, the unique sensory characteristics of game meat passing through a primary filter of sensory receptors (eyes, nose, tongue, etc). Game meat is darker and tougher (compared to meat from domestic animals), and the taste and smell have the power to trigger memories and change the mood, influencing consumer behavior. Understanding consumer attitudes towards game meat in relation to quality attributes and the physiology of sensory perception can provide important insights for food industry professionals, processors, sensory evaluators, and researchers. Full article
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