PUFA on Poultry Flavor

August 19/Reading, U.K./Food Weekly Focus -- "Enriching poultry meat with long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA) can increase low population intakes of LC n-3 PUFA, but fishy taints can spoil reheated meat. This experiment determined the effect of different amounts of LC n-3 PUFA and vitamin E in the broiler diet on the fatty acid composition and sensory characteristics of the breast meat," investigators in the U.K. report.

"Ross 308 broilers (120) were randomly allocated to one of five treatments from 21 to 42 days of age. Diets contained (g kg(-1)) 0.9 or 18 LC n-3 PUFA (0LC, 9LC, 18LC), and 100, 150 or 200mg LD-alpha-tocopherol acetate kg(-1) (E). The five diets were 0LC100E, 9LC100E, 18LC100E, 18LC150E, 18LC200E, with four pens per diet, except 18LC100E (eight pens). Breast meat was analysed for fatty acids (uncooked) and sensory analysis by R-index (reheated). LC n-3 PUFA content (mg kg(-1) meat) was 514 (0LC100E) and 2236 (9LC and 18LC). Compared with 0LC100E, meat from 18LC100E and 18LC150E tasted significantly different, while 23% of panellists detected fishy taints in 9LC100E and 18LC200E," wrote C. Rymer and colleagues, University of Reading.

The researchers concluded, "Chicken meat can be enriched with nutritionally meaningful amounts of LC n-3 PUFA, but >100 mg dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate kg(-1) broiler diet is needed to protect reheated meat from oxidative deterioration."

Rymer and colleagues published their study in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture ("Effects of Vitamin E and Fish Oil Inclusion in Broiler Diets on Meat Fatty Acid Composition and on the Flavor of a Composite Sample of Breast Meat." Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2010;90(10):1628-1633).

For additional information, contact C. Rymer, University of Reading, School Agriculture Policy & Development, Nutrition Science Research Unit, POB 237, Reading RG6 6AR, Berks, United Kingdom.

From the August 30, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition