Enriching Broiler Meat with Omega-3s

May 27/Journal of Farming -- According to recent research from Tartu, Estonia, "The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of an omega-3 PUFA-rich linseed-supplemented diet on the omega-6/omega-3 PUFA content and IGF-1 mRNA expression in broiler tissues. Broilers (50 of 21 days old and 90 of 42 days old) were divided into groups according to dietary additives: 1.5% linseed oil (LO), 3.0% LO, 15% linseed cake (LC) and 30%, LC and to the duration of modified feeding (1-21, 1-42 and 22-42 days)."

"PUFA content in breast muscles was assayed by gas chromatography and IGF-1 mRNA content in liver, muscle and leukocytes was measured by one step RT-PCR. The experimental diets improved the omega-6/omega-3 PUFA ratio through a threefold increase in the omega-3 PUFA content in the breast muscle. The changes in PUFA content were accompanied by changes in IGF-1 gene expression levels in tissues," wrote Z. Saprokina and colleagues.

The researchers concluded, "Therefore, both paracrine and autocrine manner of IGF-1 action are likely to be involved. 15% LC at starting period or 1.5% LO in final diet can be advised as optimal for enriching broiler meat with omega-3 fatty acids."

Saprokina and colleagues published their study in Agricultural and Food Science ("Effect of Dietary Linseed Supplements on Omega-3 PUFA Content and on IGF-1 Expression in Broiler Tissues." Agricultural and Food Science, 2009;18(1):35-44).

For additional information, contact Z. Saprokina, Estonian University Life Science, Institute Vet. Med & Animal Science, Dept. of Small Farm Animal & Poultry Husb, Kreutzwaldi 1A, EE-51010 Tartu, Estonia.

From the June 8, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition