Enrichment of Hen Eggs with n-3 Long-Chain Fatty Acids and Evaluation of Enriched Eggs in Humans

Source: David J Farrell
Eggs enriched with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were produced by hens fed diets containing fish oil or a combination of fish and vegetable oils. In a sensory evaluation, 78 untrained volunteers could not distinguish between ordinary and enriched eggs. Storage life was also not significantly different between egg types. A food intake survey of 4 groups of 14 subjects each who consumed 7 eggs/wk for 24 wk showed that intakes of the major dietary components were not significantly different for 4 different egg types. Mean (n = 56) plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations were not significantly different at the start and finish of the study. Body weight and HDL concentrations increased during the study (P< 0.05). For the last 2 wk of the experiment (weeks 23–24), mean egg consumption was increased from a total of 14 to a total of 21 eggs,resulting in a small increase in plasma triacylglycerols only. There were no significant differences (P> 0.05) in body weight, blood pressure, or plasma lipid components among treatment groups consuming the 4 different egg types. Blood samples taken after 16 and 22 wk from fasted subjects showed significant increases in eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and total n-3 PUFAs in subjects consuming enriched eggs compared with controls. In addition, the ratio of n-6 to n-3 PUFAs in plasma was significantly reduced from 12.2:1 to 6.5–7.7:1 in subjects consuming enriched eggs compared with controls. Consumption of only one enriched egg daily can contribute substantially to the recommended daily intake of n-3 PUFAs.