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Role of Pastures in Value Addition of Animal Products: A Review

Shahid Hassan Mir, Haider Ali Ahmad, Abdul Majeed Ganai, Shabir Ahmad Lone, Bilal Ahmad Ganaie, Tariq Ahmad Malik.


The emergence of many lifestyle diseases in humans has been related to the over-consumption of saturated fats generally through animal products. But the consumption of animal products by humans is as old as the human civilization itself. Yet the recent emergence of these diseases is baffling. So the shift of focus from “what we eat” to “what we eat, ate” occurs, thus bringing in froth the importance of animal feeding. Industrialization revolutionizes almost everything including the kind and type of feed offered to animals. Animals are most commonly offered factory made feed with grains as the main ingredient. These animals have evolved over millions of years for the feeding of grass, so feeding of grains although accelerated growth and production, inevitably brought some problems with them and one of them is absence of important nutrients which are thought to have protected our ancestors from the diseases which we are experiencing now. The most important of these diseases are cancer and those associated with cardiovascular system and brain. Grass-fed animals secrete some substances in their products having nutraceutical properties thereby making their products special and value-added. These substances are either present in grass or are produced by the animals from their precursors in the grass. They include CLA, ω-3 fatty acids, β-carotene (vitamin A), α-tocopherol (vitamin E) and antioxidant enzymes. However, a shift from the traditional established grain feeding system to the grass feeding system might not be easy in today’s highly competitive era and require greater motivation from consumers and producers. The present review enlightens the importance of these substances in humans via their incorporation in animal products along with its feasibility under the present feeding systems.

Key words: Animal products, CLA, Pasture/grass-fed, Grain-fed, Value addition

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