Kangaroo Meat

Kangaroo meat nutritional information and links

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Kangaroo meat is ideal for maintaining a balanced diet. Kangaroo meat is low in cholesterol and fat and high in protein and minerals. Its nutritional benefits in comparison to the other meat products are shown below
(Source: Food GL & Fogerty AC. 1982. The fatty acids of kangaroo and wallaby meat.CSIRO Food Research Quarterly, 42, 57-61).

 Protein (%)Fat (%)Kilojoules
(per 100g)
P/M/S ratioCholesterol
Lean Lamb222-75300.1(0.9)1661.8
Lean Beef222-55000.1(0.9)1673.5
Lean Pork231-34400.2(1.3)1501.0
Lean Chicken Breast2324700.4(1.5)1500.6

"Kangaroo meat is consistently very lean, with a relatively high proportion of polyunsaturated "structural" fat red meat which can be included with confidence in a cholesterol-lowering diet'. Studies have shown that low-fat diets rich in kangaroo meat are associated with a reduction in important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases" (O'Dea 1988). Typically, kangaroo meat contains less than 2% fat, about 40% of which is long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) molecules which are believed to improve blood flow, reduce the blood's tendency to clot, and thereby reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. She also found that kangaroo meat as part of a low fat diet can achieve a rapid fall in plasma cholesterol (Sinclair 1988, O'Dea 1988).

Research of Clare Engelke made in University of Western Australia shows that kangaroo meat may be the highest known source of the healthy fat CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which possess potential anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetes properties, in addition to reducing obesity and atherosclerosis (Kangaroo meat - health secret revealed, Media Release - Ref 2004/67 - Apr 23 , 2004).
"Kangaroos can have as much as five times more CLA in their fat than ruminants. The level of CLA in kangaroos depends on their diet, as it also does in ruminant animals".

Further reading:

  • Sinclair A J, 1997, 'Diets rich in lean red meat do not raise blood cholesterol levels.', Meat and Human Health., vol. 38, Wellington, pp. 36-40

  • Sinclair A J, Mann N J, & Kelly J, 1997, 'Kangaroo meat for human consumption.', Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia., vol. 21, Brand Miller J C, Hopwood I, & Annison E F (eds.), The Nutrition Society of Australia, Brisbane, pp. 52-57

  • Kangaroo meat - health secret revealed. Media Release - Ref 2004/67 - Apr 23 , 2004

Despite the high nutritional values and qualities of the meat, more than half of the kangaroos shot commercially in Australia each year are used for their hides only, so meat production could be increased without more kangaroos being killed. The use of kangaroo meat for human consumption started in 1980 in South Australia and in 1993 in other Australian states. One of the reasons that kangaroo meat was illegal for human consumption for such a long time is a fear by producers of traditional red meats that kangaroo would become a significant competitor for beef and lamb. However, even if all of the kangaroos shot under the commercial quotas each year were used for human consumption, this would be an almost insignificant fraction of Australia's annual red meat production, less than 2%.

The Australian kangaroo industry estimates that it exports kangaroo meat to more than 55 countries. Kangaroo meat is increasingly popular, and export markets are expected to increase. It is considered one of the finest game meats. Its growing appeal stems from its well-flavoured, slightly gamey taste. Kangaroo meat contains very little saturated fat relative to other meats and is high in protein, zinc and iron.

Further reading:

At Billabong Jerky we've made tests and comparison of kangaroo jerky nutritional values with the other types of jerky. The results are in a table below.

Jerky nutritional information, per serve

 Beef JerkyKangaroo JerkyCrocodile JerkyTuna Jerky
Serving size20g20g20g20g
Fat Total0.5g0.3g1.9g0.8g
Fat Saturated0.2g0.1g 0.2g
Carbohydrate Total4.0g3.2g3.0g6.6g
Carbohydrate Sugars2.7g1.9g2.8g4.5g
Calcium   0.6g

With all the benefits that kangaroo meat offers to human health its current availability is an issue. Kangaroo jerky is one of the solutions to make this healthy food and rich source of Conjugated Linoleic Acid, protein, zinc and iron available Worldwide. Give it a try. It's the taste of Australia, mate!

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