This review presents current opinions on health-related effects of meat consumption, emphasizing associations between meat (red meat and processed meat) and colo-rectal cancers. It indicates that consumption of poultry and fish has not been found to be associated with increased risk of cancers. The idea of functional foods in Europe is described and poultry meat is shown as a target for modification by means of nutritional strategies. These strategies include enrichment with polyunsatutated fatty acids (PUFAs), notably n-3 acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and antioxidant vitamines. It is shown that feeding fish oils or fish meals (n-3 fatty acid sources) to growing poultry leads to their subsequent deposition in adipose and muscle tissue (mainly C20:5, C22:5, and C22:6) at the expense of decreasing incorporation of n-6 fatty acids. At the same line, dietary CLA isomers are deposited in poultry tissues. Moreover, since the increasing amout of polyunsaturates in meat increases their oxidation, efforts aiming at improving the oxidative stability of modified poultry meat (notably nutritional enrichmemnt with vitamin E) are described. Finally, the potentially detrimental effects of dietary PUFAs and CLA on broiler productive performance
(feed intake, growth rate, feed conversion) and sensory meat quality (off-flavours) are analysed.
Also, available means are discussed to reduce or to prevent these effects.