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Offal is consumed less often in Poland today and is considered to be of lower quality. Some people didn't eat them at all. It's a pity, because offal contains huge amounts of nutrients and is a source of wholesome protein, consumed once a week, will enrich the diet with valuable vitamins and minerals and will be an interesting diversion.


  1. Offal: types and properties
  2. Offal: nutritional and he alth benefits
  3. Offal: How to buy high-quality offal?
  4. Offal: application
  5. Offal in the diets of pregnant women and children

Offalare edible internal organs of slaughter animals, including livers, stomachs, kidneys, lungs, hearts, brains, tongues, thymus and other parts of the animal's body that are not muscles and bones. The organs that come from pigs, chickens, ducks, cows and lambs are the most commonly eaten.

They can be prepared in many ways, and their culinary qualities are appreciated in regional cuisines of many countries and in many renowned restaurants, including Italy, Germany and France. In some Polish establishments, offal also dominates the menu.

Offal: types and properties

The variety of offal is very large, and their organoleptic characteristics and nutritional value depend on the type of organ and its origin. Offal is divided into 4 classes based on their culinary suitability and nutritional value:

  1. class I is liver, brain,
  2. class II- kidneys, hearts, tongues,
  3. grade III- lungs, stomachs, spleens, tripe,
  4. class IV- heads, legs, tails, udders.

The most commonly consumed and best-known offal are:

  • liver - obtained from poultry, pigs, cows and calves. The livers range in color from purple-brown to brown-brown, with beef liver being the darkest, while chicken and veal livers are characterized by the lightest color and finest tenderness.
  • stomachs - the most famous are poultry stomachs: chicken, turkey, duck.
  • kidneys - colloquially called cinadrami, usually pork, lamb and beef kidneys are available for sale. Beef kidneys are extremely hard and require a long cooking time. The color of the kidneys varies depending on the species of animal.
  • lungs -They are characterized by a pale pink color and high elasticity, which is conditioned by the high content of connective tissue. They are quite hard and require a long heat treatment.
  • hearts - they range in color from light red to cherry red, poultry and veal hearts are softer than pork and beef hearts.
  • tripe - they are obtained from the inner muscle layer of beef or, less often, pork stomachs.
  • tongues - tongues including sublingual muscles, beef tongues are thick and firm, similar are sheep and goat tongues, but they are smaller and pork tongues are long and smooth.
  • spleen - they are most often used in the production of cold cuts and brawn.

Offal: nutritional and he alth benefits

Offal is rich in wholesome protein, vitamins and minerals, and their content depends on the type of offal. The highest nutritional value is in the liver, brain, kidneys, tongues, hearts and lungs.

Offal is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, and their liver contains a lot of niacin. 100 g of liver covers the daily requirement of an adult for vitamin A and vitamin B12 in over 1000%, while the richest in vitamin A is veal liver, while beef liver is characterized by the highest content of vitamin B12.

Vitamin A has a positive effect on eyesight and soothes inflammation, reducing the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. In addition, vitamin A improves immunity and has a beneficial effect on the skin.

Thanks to the content of B vitamins, offal supports the functioning of the nervous system and protects against the development of dementia, Alzheimer's disease and depression.

The offal also contains significant amounts of minerals: iron, phosphorus, copper and zinc. Among offal, the best source of iron is liver, with 100 g of which covers the daily requirement of an adult for this ingredient even in 187% (pork liver), thanks to which the liver can have a beneficial effect in the treatment of anemia and prevent its occurrence.

Offal, despite the content of valuable nutrients, is also a source of purines, which contribute to the exacerbation of gout symptoms, so people suffering from this disease should limit them. In addition, offal, especially hearts, kidneys, livers, tongues, are rich in cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, which means that they should be eaten in moderate amounts and should not be eaten, including people with atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolaemia

Worth knowing

Nutritional value in 100 g of selected typesoffal (raw)

Poultry liverPork liverVeal liverBeef liver
Caloric value136 kcal130 kcal124 kcal125 kcal
Protein19.1 g22 g19.2 g20 g
Fat6.3 g3.4 g3.3 g3.1 g
Saturated fat2.1 g1.42 g1.08 g1.22 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids1.54 g0.71 g0.76 g0.45 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids0.99 g1.27 g0.43 g0.53 g
Cholesterol380 mg354 mg360 mg234 mg
Calcium8 mg (0.8%)10 mg (1%)19 mg (2%)7 mg (0.7%)
Sodium85 mg (6%)83 mg (6%)87 mg (6%)117 mg (8%)
Phosphorus320 mg (46%)362 mg (52%)306 mg (44%)358 mg (51%)
Potassium300 mg (9%)311 mg (9%)316 mg (9%)294 mg (8%)
Magnesium21 mg (5%)23 mg (6%)20 mg (5%)21 mg (5%)
Iron9.5 mg (95%)18.7 mg (187%)7.9 mg (79%)9.4 mg (94%)
Zinc3.63 mg (33%)4.51 mg (41%)8.4 mg (76%)4.11 mg (37%)
Copper0.3 mg (33%)0.63 mg (70%)5.5 mg (611%)0.62 mg (69%)
Niacin10.2 mg (64%)16.7 mg (104%)15 mg (94%)13.7 mg (86%)
Vitamin B10.36 mg (28%)0.4 mg (31%)0.28 mg (22%)0.26 mg (20%)
Vitamin B22.7 mg (208%)2.98 mg (229%)2.61 mg (201%)3.33 mg (256%)
Vitamin B60.4 mg (31%)0.65 mg (50%)0.9 mg (69%)0.84 mg (65%)
Vitamin B1235 μg (1458 %%)25 μg (1042%)60 μg (2,500%)110 μg (4583%)
Foliates590 μg (148%)110 μg (28%)240 μg (60%)330 μg (83%)
Vitamin A9 304 μg(1034%)13,000 μg (1,444%)21 927 μg (2436%)14 400 μg (1600%)
Vitamin E0.25 mg (3%)0.12 mg (1%)0.24 mg (2%)0.67 mg (7%)
Vitamin D0.2 μg (1%)1.1 μg (7%)0.33 μg (2%)1.1 μg (7%)

(% of the recommended daily intake for an adult)

Nutritional value: IŻŻ database: Tables of nutritional values ​​of food products and dishes% of the recommended daily intake based on the Nutrition Standards IŻŻ, 2022

Nutritional value per 100 g of selected types of meat (raw)

Poultry stomachPork kidneysPork hearts
Caloric value114 kcal102 kcal111 kcal
Protein18.2 g16.8 g16.9 g
Fat4.2 g3.8 g4.8 g
Saturated fat1.03 g1.49 g2.34 g
Monounsaturated fatty acids1.07 g1.2 g1.24 g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids1.21 g0.67 g0.14 g
Cholesterol130 mg375 mg140 mg
Calcium8 mg (0.8%)11 mg (1%)35 mg (4%)
Sodium69 mg (5%)205 mg (14%)89 mg (6%)
Phosphorus135 mg (19%)246 mg (35%)132 mg (19%)
Potassium188 mg (5%)313 mg (9%)335 mg (10%)
Magnesium13 mg (3%)18 mg (5%)22 mg (6%)
Iron3.5 mg (35%)8 mg (80%)2.7 mg (27%)
Zinc3 mg (27%)3 mg (27%)2.2 mg (20%)
Copper0.1 mg (11%)0.89 mg (99%)0.37 mg (41%)
Niacin4.5 mg (28%)9.8 mg (61%)6 mg (38%)
Vitamin B10.09 mg (7%)0.58 mg (45%)0.43 mg (33%)
Vitamin B20.05 mg (4%)1.74 mg (134%)1.24 mg (95%)
Vitamin B60.12 mg (9%)0.53 mg (41%)0.43 mg (33%)
Vitamin B120.6 μg (25%)17 μg (708%)2.7 μg (113%)
Foliates53 μg (13%)45 μg (11%)4 μg (1%)
Vitamin A65 μg (7%)36 μg (4%)8 μg (1%)
Vitamin E0.2 mg (2%)0.41 mg (4%)0.41mg 94%)
Vitamin D0.2 μg (1%)1 μg (7%)0.7 μg (5%)

(% of the recommended daily intake for an adult)

Nutritional value: IŻŻ database: Tables of nutritional values ​​of food products and dishes% of the recommended daily intake based on the Nutrition Standards IŻŻ, 2022

Offal: How to buy high-quality offal?

When buying offal, pay special attention to its appearance and smell. A sticky surface and a strange smell (not specific for meat) indicate that the offal is not fresh.

Offal: application

Offal is a very short-lived product, so it should be processed immediately after purchase. It is important that the offal is thoroughly cleaned of inedible parts before processing and thoroughly washed under running water. In addition, the kidneys should be soaked in water several times and boiled, these activities should be repeated until the unpleasant smell is eliminated.

The giblets can be used to prepare pastes, stuffing for pancakes, croquettes, dumplings, patties and pates. You can also stuff meats with offal spreads.

In addition, offal can be an addition to soups and constitute the main dinner dish, e.g. fried liver, stewed liver with onions or with apples, stews of stomachs, lungs and kidneys, tongues, stomachs and hearts in sauces (e.g .: pepper, horseradish, béchamel, tartar, onion), sauce brains or baked brains. Tongues and stomachs can also be served cold: in jelly, while the brains can be added to scrambled eggs.

See the gallery of 6 photos

Offal in the diets of pregnant women and children

Offal, especially liver, is not recommended during pregnancy due to the high content of vitamin A. Its excess in the diet of a pregnant woman may cause birth defects to the fetus. In addition, offal is not recommended for pregnant women due to the possibility of accumulating toxins. Also, therefore, they should not be eaten by children.

About the authorMarzena Masna, dietitian SOS Diet, dietary catering, WarsawA graduate of dietetics at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences. She gained professional experience in dietary clinics, the Nursery Complex of the Capital City of Warsaw and Warsaw hospitals for adults andkids. She constantly deepens her knowledge by participating in conferences on proper nutrition, as well as diet-prevention and diet therapy of diseases. Currently, a dietitian at SOS Diet, dietary catering, where he deals with nutritional advice for clients, creating recipes, preparing the menu and supervising the quality of meals.

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