Horse-meat for human consumption - Current research and future opportunities

Meat Sci. 2015 Oct:108:74-81. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 May 14.


The consumption of horse-meat is currently not popular in most countries, but because of its availability and recognized nutritional value consumption is slowly increasing in several western European countries based on claims that it could be an alternative red meat. In this review, horse-meat production, trade and supply values have been summarized. In addition, the advantage of horse production is noted because of its lower methane emissions and increased uptake, particularly of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which is based on its digestive physiology. Of particular interest in this review is the unique fatty acid composition of horse-meat with its high level of the nutritionally desirable PUFAs in both the adipose and muscle fat. Because of its large frame size and digestive physiology, the horse can be considered an alternative to bovine meat, with large advantages regarding the maintenance of less favored mountain grazing areas and its facility to transfer PUFA from feed to meat.

Keywords: Greenhouse gases; Hindgut fermenter herbivore; Horse-meat; Production; n-3 fatty acids; trans.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids / analysis
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / analysis
  • Food Analysis
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Meat / analysis*
  • Nutritive Value


  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated