When it comes to good bio-available protein you’re in safe hands with things in their natural state, whether you’re a vegan or a self-proclaimed carnivore, if your food of choice has been left with all of its nutrients and enzymes intact then your body is more likely to assimilate it better.

So let me introduce Biltong.



Biltong is a dry cured meat originating from South Africa. Condiments such as vinegar, salt and coriander are used to cure and add flavour to the meat. It is then dried to prevent the spoilage. It can be used as a snack or you can add it to any dish you like. I’ve just finished eating my Biltong Salad for lunch...yum!

Is it any better for you than a cooked piece of meat? Sadly I couldn’t find any resources that confirmed or denied this. Both heating and dry curing (in the presence of an acid) denaturates proteins. Our stomach acid also denaturates proteins, so regardless of what cooking method used, by the time it gets to our small intestine for protease action, it’s much of a muchness in my opinion.

I’ll leave the argument over cooked vs raw and vegan vs meat to you guys because this article is simply about another great protein source. In my opinion, regardless of heating affecting protein, I like the fact that this is a natural method of food preservation which has been around longer than commercial food processing, the time before heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity were epidemic.

There is misleading information about nutritional value of Biltong. Many resources state Biltong contains 36g of protein per 100g, while others state 30g of protein for 50g of Biltong. Ok, let’s work this out then, 135g of raw beef contains 30g of protein and 85g of water. So I’m going to assume for you all that when you remove 85g of water you are left with 50g of meat which still contains 30g of protein.

Bilton we found at Mobil!

You know what that means right? Less bulk if you’re the type of Bodybuilder that’s trying to choke down serious levels of protein at each meal. Not only that, it’s already been prepared for you, so that’s one less cooking hassle. And it tastes pretty good.

Biltong by the way is not Beef Jerky, they are two different types of product. Biltong can be lean or fatty, depending on which cut you get. Google it to find Biltong suppliers in NZ.

Stacey Hancock
June 2012

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