Cow Skin Food: Questions on Cow Skin’s (Ponmo) Nutritional Value Answered.
In Nigerian slang, a cowskin is referred to as a “pomo” (sometimes spelled as Ponmo). I prefer the latter choice.
About Cow Skin Food in Nigeria
It is mostly due to poverty in Nigeria and many other developing countries where the skin of cows and other animals such as sheep and goats is separated and sold separately. Due to the high cost of beef, more people are opting for cow skin recipes, which is much less expensive.
Please be aware that before being sold as Ponmo, the cow skin is subjected to some kind of treatments by the processors but that is not the subject of this conversation.
I’ll start with the nutritional value of ponmo (cow skin), on a lighter note, I’d like to share this with you: a BBC news story about cow skin and Nigeria sometimes in the year was titled “Nigeria eats its shoe leather”.
Yes, we consume so much ponmo that there is no longer any cow skin available for the leather industry. “Pomo eaters have chosen to walk on barefoot because they have decided to eat their own shoes in their pots,” Dr. Samuel Achi, the provost of Federal College of Chemical and Leather Technology, Zaria, said in the report.
Cow Skin Food: So, Is Cow Skin (Ponmo) Nutritious?
Cow skin is usually not consumed as food in most developed countries. As a result, there are little to no studies on the nutritional benefit of cow skin. Cow skins are transported in large quantities to the leather industry, where they are made into shoes, clothing, and other products.
Recommended >>> Cow Skin: Solid Truths About Eating Cow Skin (Pomo)
There isn’t a lot of detail about the nutrients in Ponmo. The only authoritative article you’ll find online is on PunchNG, in a news story about the Animal Science Association of Nigeria and the Nigeria Institute of Animal Science’s third joint anniversary, which was held at the University of Ibadan in 2014.
Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, also spoke at the session, which was titled “Value addition in the Nigerian livestock industry: A plan for economic growth and stakeholder empowerment.”
According to an article on PunchNG and other websites, ponmo has the following nutritional benefits:
The nutritional analysis of a 40 gram piece of ponmo is:
Calories (150g); Total fat (4g); Saturated fat (1g); Poly saturated fat (0g); Mono saturated fat (0g); Trans fat (0g); Cholesterol (0g); Sodium (0mg); Potassium (0mg); Total carbohydrate (0g);
Dietary fibre (0g); Sugars (0 per cent); Proteins (0 per cent); Vitamin A (0 per cent); Vitamin C (0 per cent); Calcium (0 per cent); Iron (0 per cent).
You can see from this study that ponmo is deficient in all basic nutrients. However, I’ve seen advertisements in China from some food processors/manufacturers claiming to make nutritious kpomo or ponmo. They claim to have added vital nutrients to cow skin. I have no evidence to support their arguments.
Some people have also suggested that it may simply be a source of protein. Yes, collagen is a protein found in animal skin, muscle, and meat, but as we all know, there is something called Protein Quality. Since collagen lacks the amino acid tryptophan, it is not a complete protein.
While collagen and gelatin have many uses in medicine and the food industry (for example, producing gelatin), they are poor-quality sole sources of protein because they do not contain all of the necessary amino acids in the proportions that the human body requires—they are not “complete proteins.”