At present, foods containing n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) are being studied through clinical trials, analytical assays and meta-analysis in order to confirm their potential health benefits. Indeed, there is a continuous search for new ways to develop products rich in n-3 PUFAs. The aim of the current review is to provide a general vision of the concept of functional meat products rich in n-3 PUFAs not only concerning fishy products, but also those from enriched meat products of monogastric and ruminant animals. This document highlights the importance of n-3 PUFAs as an essential nutrient and a functional ingredient in meat products in order to prevent deficiency or even to treat pathological conditions as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, depression and childhood disorders.
Ways to improve depth in this review are those made in diets for monogastric and ruminant animals that have been enriched with n-3 PUFAs and in some cases supplemented with vitamin E. This also shows that there are other techniques to improve the meat products by varying the stage of process or formulation. Both strategies have been essentially reduced n-6: n-3 recommended to values below 4. Some studies of this paper emphasize using antioxidants such as vitamin E, as a positive influence on lipid oxidative and sensory stability of meat and meat products to avoid the variation in colour, flavour, taste and texture.
The review shows recent strategies to improve the quality of meat and processed meat that would allow considering them as important functional foods.