β-carotene and retinol contents in the meat of herbivorous ungulates with a special reference to their public health importance

The aim of this study was to estimate total carotenoids, β-carotene and retinol concentrations in the livers and muscles of some ungulates (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and horses) in comparison with the Wistar rats as a control. Cattle and horses had the highest contents of total carotenoids and β-carotene. Unexpectedly, sheep was the highest accumulator of retinol with a mean concentration of 203 ± 23.34 μg/g, while the least accumulator was buffalo, having a mean value of 58.28 ± 13.77 μg/g. Livers had higher contents of the examined phytochemicals than muscles. Consumption of these tissues may provide human with some needs from these important phytochemicals, though ingestion of livers, especially that of the sheep, is not advisable for the pregnant women.

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