Effect of Dietary Fish Oil on w-3 Fatty Acid Levels in Chicken Eggs and Thigh Flesh

Source: Zhi-Bin Huang, Henry Leibovitz, Chong M. Lee, and Richard Millar

Incorporation of w-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids into chicken egg, thigh meat, and adipose tissue was studied by feeding laying hens diets containing up to 3% menhaden oil for 4 weeks. Dietary fish oil increased eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5w3 (EPA)) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6w3 (DHA)) in the fatty acid distribution of egg yolk. In thigh meat EPA did not increase while the DHA increased with 3% dietary fish oil. The levels of EPA and DHA in adipose tissue increased with increased dietary fish oil. The ratio of EPA to DHA in egg and thigh meat was inversely proportional to the ratio in fish oil. Organoleptic evaluation showed that eggs and thigh meat remained acceptable with up to a 3% dietary fish oil stabilized with 0.1 % ethoxyquin.