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Blood and tissue fatty acid compositions, lipoprotein levels, performance and meat flavor of broilers fed fish oil: changes in the pre- and post-withdrawal design

Aghaei, N., Safamehr, A., Mehmannavaz, Y., Chekaniazar, S.
Animal 2012 v.6 no.12 pp. 2031-2040
alpha-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, blood, blood lipids, broiler chickens, cardiovascular diseases, chicken meat, diet, eicosapentaenoic acid, fatty acid composition, feed conversion, fish oils, flavor, high density lipoprotein, linoleic acid, low density lipoprotein, males, meat quality, omega-3 fatty acids, palmitic acid, slaughter, tissues
Administration of fish oil (FO) in broiler diets can elevate α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) levels, which are protective against cardiovascular disease. However, optimization based solely on n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) enrichment in chicken meat could lead to lower meat quality, unless the withdrawal period (plan) is applied for 1 week. The present study investigated whether the incorporation of FO in the diet for 32 days followed by its withdrawal for 1 week affected blood lipid profiles, lipoprotein particles, performance and meat flavor in male broiler chickens. Two hundred and forty birds (1-day-old, Ross 308) were assigned to 1 of 4 dietary groups: 0%, 1%, 2% or 3% FO with four replicates. Broilers were fed for 49 days according to a 4-phase feeding program. The experimental phase comprised day 11 to 42, and FO was removed on day 42. Blood samples were collected during the pre- and post-withdrawal period after the recordings before slaughter. The FO groups demonstrated decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increased high-density lipoprotein levels on day 42 (P < 0.01); however, these values were not significant after design withdrawal. Diet supplementation with FO elevated the blood levels of palmitic acid (C16:0) and n-3 PUFAs, especially long-chain (LC) PUFAs (EPA, C20:5n-3 and DHA, C22:6n-3), and caused a decline in the level of arachidonic acid (AA, C20:4n-6; P < 0.05). Application of a one-week withdrawal period resulted in a decrease in (P < 0.05) linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) and an increase in the level of AA, unlike their amounts on day 42. Although blood and tissue LC n-3 PUFA levels on day 49 were significantly higher in the FO groups compared with the control, they demonstrated a substantial decrease on day 49 compared with day 42. The best results, mainly the lowest n-6/n-3 fatty acids (FAs) and feed conversion ratio (FCRs), were observed for 3% FO (group T4), even after institution of the withdrawal design. Degradation of total n-3 FAs deposited in tissues occurred after instituting the withdrawal plan diet, but deposited levels of EPA and DHA in tissues could ensure omega-3 enrichment of broiler meat in groups 3 and 4. On the basis of the dissatisfaction of the panelists toward group 4 meats (scored as near to acceptable) and their satisfaction with cooked samples of T3 (scored as good), group 3 meats were selected as good-quality n-3-enriched broiler meat.