Buffalo meat is the meat of the water buffalo, a large bovid, raised
for its milk and meat in many countries including India, Nepal,
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Italy, Russia, Czech Republic,
Slovakia and Egypt.
Buffalo meat is known by various names in different countries. In some
places it is known as buffen, or buff in India and Nepal; in some
countries it is known as carabeef, from the Spanish term and breed
Meat taken from a buffalo younger than 20 months is
known as padwa in India, pado in Nepal and Bansgosh in Pakistan.
Buffalo calves are often referred to as buffalo broilers and brought
up exclusively on milk for the purpose of being slaughtered young for
1 Social significance
2 Differences from beef
4 Quality parameters of buffalo meat
5 Indian export
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
Due to the religious importance of cows in India and Nepal, there is a
need to differentiate buffalo meat from beef. In countries like India,
for religious and cultural reasons, most of the population does not
eat meat from cattle. In a large number of the Indian states and in
Nepal, slaughtering cattle is prohibited. Communal violence sometimes
happens over cattle slaughter or even over suspected beef
Differences from beef
Buffalo are a type of bovid, but their meat is different from beef in
Buffalo meat has a lower fat content, and its fat is
milky white, compared to the yellow-white fat of beef.
Buffalo meat is
darker in color, and buffaloes, because of their larger size, have
harder bones than cows.
Buffalo meat has a lower muscle pH of 5.6±0.4
whereas beef muscle has a pH of 6.4±0.7. It also has a significantly
smaller amount of collagen in its muscles, but the species does not
differ significantly in the degree of intramuscular collagen
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Buffalo have exceptional muscular development and thus they are
considerably heavy, with some weighing more than a tonne. The main
agricultural use of buffalo is to obtain milk. India has the largest
number of buffalo and is the largest producer of its milk, producing
nearly 57 million tonnes of it annually. This accounts for 67% of
global production. Slaughtering buffalo for meat is a secondary
Buffalo meat from young buffalo has a much better quality as they have
a higher proportion of muscle and a lower proportion of fat as
compared to other cattle meat. The highest quality buffalo meat is
known as "padwa" in India, taken from a buffalo younger than 24
India accounts for about 43% of the world buffalo meat production,
Uttar Pradesh producing the most, followed by
Andhra Pradesh and
Maharashtra. In the 21st century, buffalo meat production in India has
been growing and has increased from 4.1 million tonnes CWE (carcass
weight equivalent) in 2014 to 4.3 million tonnes CWE in 2015.
In India, during the calendar year 2014-2015, consumption estimates
had been forecasted to rise from 3.1% and 3.5% to 2.1 and 2.175
million tonnes CWE respectively, according to the US Department of
Quality parameters of buffalo meat
For centuries buffalo have been used as draught animals as they have
good muscular development. Buffalo are generally fed on coarse feeds;
they convert them into the protein-rich lean meat. Buffalo can be
suitably grown in countries having poor feed resources. Thus,
buffalo are generally raised using straw crop residues and they are
very cheap to feed. Some can work until the age of 30.
When buffalo are reared up to 24 months and fed with milk, their meat
is of high quality. The buffen is lean and rich in protein and less
fatty than cattle. This has created a high demand for buffen among
health-conscious consumers (Desmond, 1990). Buffalo may also be more
resistant to disease than cattle. The nutrient
requirements of buffalo steer constitute 1.8 kg TDN, 6.6 MCal ME,
0.24 kg DCP, 11 g P and 14 g Ca. On ad libitum and high
concentrate (75:25) based rations the growth rate is 610 g/day (with
feed efficiency of 7:1). The protein content of buffalo meat is
higher than chicken, and due to this buffalo meat is also called poor
Table- Comparing Physical Composition of
Buffalo meat and Buffalo meat
Buffalo meat broiler
Cholesterol (mg %)
India is one of the world’s biggest exporters of buffalo
meat. According to
US Department of Agriculture
US Department of Agriculture India leads
over the next highest exporter-Brazil. In 2015, India exported more
than 2.4 million tonnes of buffalo meat and its allied products.
Brazil exported 2 million tonnes and Australia 1.5 million tonnes.
These three countries constitute 58.7% of all buffalo meat exports.
India has 23.5% of global buffalo meat exports. In fiscal year 2014,
the export share of India was 20%.
According to data obtained from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy
(CMIE), most of India’s export is to Asian countries, which import
more than 80 percent while African countries import around 15%. Within
Asia, Vietnam imports 45% of the buffalo meat exported from
Buffalo meat exports from India have been growing at an average of
approximately 14% yearly since 2011 and fetched more than $4.8 billion
in 2014. Last year was the first time India has earned more from the
export of buffen than it did from
Basmati rice exports.[citation
Several databases, such as Agricultural Outlook and United Nations
Food show there is increasing trend of meat consumption in India.
However, the data also shows that the consumption of buffalo meat has
been falling over the years, It has come down by (-) 44.5% in 2014
from 2000. This fall in consumption has been taking place because of
the increase in the price of buffalo meat and health
consciousness. Consumption of chicken went up by 31
percent in that period, showing that white meat is taking the place of
red meat.
Buffen kebabs are an integral part of Awadhi cuisine, with Lucknow
being known for such a dish
Buffen qeema is a spicy dish, widely eaten in India
The Thai dish Yam tin khwai is a spicy and sour Northern Thai soup
made with the hoof of a water buffalo
^ Singh, Pragya (September 19, 2016). "The
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^ Ross C (1975). Alternative Livestock: with particular response to
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Buffalo meat Industry in India. An
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^ "Mob kills suspected cattle smuggler in India". Al Jazeera. October
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(1984), "Comparative study of buffalo meat and beef",
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^ Arganosa FC (1973). Evaluation of carabeef as a potential substitute
for beef. Philippines Journal of Nutrition 26(2): 128-143.
^ Ranjan SK, Pathak NN (1979). Management and Feeding Of Buffaloes. pp
217-227. New Delhi, India: Vikas Publishing House. Desmond H (1990).
Cattle and Buffalo
Meat Production in the Tropics. 1st edition pp.
^ International Journal of
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^ Khan, Mohd Imran; Haleem, Abid (February–April 2016).
"Understanding 'Halal' and 'Halal Certification & Accreditation
System'- A Brief Review" (PDF). Saudi Journal of Business and
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^ Raghavan, Sharad (10 August 2015). "India on top in exporting beef".
Kondaiah N (2002).
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