Carcass Characteristics, Meat Quality and Nutritional Profile of Pheasant, Quail and Guinea Fowl

  • Maria López-Pedrouso
  • Jesús Cantalapiedra
  • Paulo E. S. Munekata
  • Francisco J. Barba
  • José Manuel Lorenzo
  • Daniel FrancoEmail author


Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest in meat from non-conventional animal species, which have a deep-rooted tradition of consumption in some countries. Nowadays modern society have a purchase behaviour based on food safety, nutritional composition, taste/flavour, health aspects of foods and price. The consumption of traditional meat at this time is stagnating and consumers are looking for other alternative types of meats. In this context, this chapter tackles three alternative poultry breeds pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) and Guinea fowl (Numida meleagris), which have a great potential and demand in markets of western countries. Despite the fact that meat from these poultry species has numerous advantages such as higher protein level, lower fat content, reduced calories and higher amount of some essential vitamins, fatty acid and amino acids, there is a still lack of knowledge about meat from these birds. Therefore, the aim of this review is an attempt to collect the existing information and shed light on knowledge of carcass features and meat quality properties as well as a briefly review of those variables than can affect meat obtained from these birds.


Alternative poultry Pheasant Quail Guinea fowl Carcass Meat quality Fatty acids Amino acids 



Paulo E. S. Munekata acknowledges postdoctoral fellowship support from Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO, Spain) “Juan de la Cierva” program (FJCI-2016-29486). José M. Lorenzo and Paulo E. S. Munekata are members of the MARCARNE network, funded by CYTED (ref.116RT0503).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria López-Pedrouso
    • 1
  • Jesús Cantalapiedra
    • 2
  • Paulo E. S. Munekata
    • 3
  • Francisco J. Barba
    • 4
  • José Manuel Lorenzo
    • 3
  • Daniel Franco
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Genetics and Physical AnthropologyUniversity of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de CompostelaGaliciaSpain
  2. 2.Farm Counselling Services, Consellería do Medio Rural, Xunta de GaliciaLugoSpain
  3. 3.Centro Tecnológico de la Carne de Galicia, Parque Tecnológico de GaliciaOurenseSpain
  4. 4.Nutrition and Food Science Area, Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Food Sciences, Toxicology and Forensic Medicine Department, Faculty of PharmacyUniversitat de ValènciaValènciaSpain

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