What constitutes the majority of meat?



Looking at 100g chicken breast for example, I see that ~30g is protein and ~4 is fat. What is the rest of the 100g piece made of? Is that all connective tissues? Fiber? Something else?


Posted 2017-09-18T17:35:20.337

Reputation: 401

1connective tissues are mostly protein. – user2617804 – 2017-09-19T04:36:01.473


It depends, we recently discovered in Brazil that some of the meat is actually cardboard, rotten meat from unknown animals, etc.

– Billy Rubina – 2017-09-20T01:21:16.800

Water is in there, too. – Alchimista – 2017-12-01T12:15:55.920



It's essentially just water.

You can directly see this in the full USDA nutrition facts (link is for "Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted"). Per 100g, there is 65.26g of water, 31.02g protein, 3.57g fat, accounting for 99.85g. The rest is probably just trace nutrients and rounding errors.

You'll see the same kind of thing for other meats. Details vary by cut, but for example here's beef chuck eye steak (64.48g water, 18.86g protein, 16.35g fat), pork loin chops (69.7g water, 20.71g protein, 9.03g fat), and Atlantic salmon (64.89g water, 20.42g protein, 13.42g fat).


Posted 2017-09-18T17:35:20.337

Reputation: 52 299

27"trace nutrients and rounding errors" You just made my day. – bwDraco – 2017-09-18T20:45:09.383


FWIW, 65% water by weight is about the same as humans (this Wikipedia page has 65% average in one study; 50% or 60% (female/male) in another).

– TripeHound – 2017-09-19T00:15:19.033

13@TripeHound That's why it "tastes like chicken"... ;) – roetnig – 2017-09-19T06:31:12.987

6@bwDraco: Rounding errors are yummy! – psmears – 2017-09-19T14:09:07.817

1Might be worth putting numbers for other kinds of meat... beef is more like 15% fat I think? – Mehrdad – 2017-09-19T21:34:46.913

5@Mehrdad Depends very much on the type/cut. You can get ground beef anywhere 5% to 30% fairly easily. Added a few, but I think the point here is more that however much fat/protein there is, the remainder is pretty much just water. – Cascabel – 2017-09-19T21:47:34.487

1Remember that, after all, cells are pretty much fatty bags filled with water and stuffed dissolved, linked to each other with proteins. – Davidmh – 2017-09-20T11:41:25.803