This study was performed to measure and compare the levels of steroid hormones [estrone (E1), 17β-estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3)] and their conjugated metabolites in cow's and river buffalo's meat in two distinct follicular and luteal phases. Moreover, the possible effect of a heating process on steroid hormone concentration was also investigated. The collected meat (biceps femoris muscle) samples were subjected to liquid extraction, enzymatical deconjugation, and C18 solid-phase extraction. Estrogens were analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography equipped with a fluorescence detector. In the follicular phase the levels of steroid hormones (E1 and E2) in either tested species were higher than the luteal phase. Moreover, in the present study, E1 concentration (free and deconjugated value, 16.2 ± 1.1 ng/L) was found to be the highest phenolic estrogen in beef, while the dominant estrogen in muscle of river buffalo was E2 (free and deconjucated value, 23.3 ± 1.3 ng/L). The study revealed that animal species influenced the concentration of hormones (E1 and E2) in the samples. The heating process did not significantly change (p > 0.05) the levels of estrogens. The further findings of the present study showed that E3 (deconjugated form) was only detected in the buffalo's meat (15.8 ± 1.9 ng/L). These data suggest that although meat is one of the valuable nutrient sources for humans, there are, however, increasing concerns about the safety of meat due to the excessive presence of steroid hormones. © 2016

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