Influence of two dietary fats on the composition of emu oil and meat

Poult Sci. 2001 Feb;80(2):187-94. doi: 10.1093/ps/80.2.187.


Male and female emus were fed a diet rich in saturated fat (beef tallow) or a diet rich in unsaturated fat (soybean oil) until they weighed about 35 kg. Samples of subcutaneous and retroperitoneal adipose tissues and samples of six major meat cuts were taken for determination of composition. Emus fed the two different diets grew at similar rates, but the male emus had a higher percentage of carcass fat. The adipose tissue cells from males were larger than those from females. All six meat cuts averaged 2.2% fat, with the regular filet having the most and the inside and outside drums the least. Cholesterol concentration of all sizes of meat cuts averaged 32.2 mg/100 g meat. Diet did not influence cholesterol content of the rendered oil. Fan filets had the greatest concentration of cholesterol, and the inside and outside drums had the least. Source of dietary fat had no effect on fat and cholesterol content of the meats. Meat from emus fed beef tallow was more tender and juicy. Fan filets were the most tender meat, had the least intense flavor, and were the most flavorful. Untrained panelists were able to discriminate between emu meat and beef. Source of dietary fat did not influence the fatty acid compositions of the meats. As expected, the soybean oil-fed emus produced oil that was more polyunsaturated than did the tallow-fed emus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Cholesterol
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Dromaiidae / metabolism*
  • Fats / administration & dosage
  • Fats / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Meat / analysis*
  • Oils / chemistry*
  • Sex Factors
  • Soybean Oil / administration & dosage
  • Soybean Oil / metabolism
  • Taste


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fats
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Oils
  • Soybean Oil
  • Cholesterol
  • tallow