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Omega-3 Enriched Eggs: The Influence of Dietary Alpha-Linolenic
Fatty Acid Source on Egg Production and Composition

Ricardo Ayerza (h) and Wayne Coates
Southwest Center for Natural Products Research and Commercialization
Office of Arid Lands Studies, The University of Arizona
250 E. Valencia Rd., Tucson 85706, AZ, USA




A study was conducted to assess the effect of replacing chia with flaxseed as a source of α-linolenic fatty acid in laying hen feed. Five diets, identified as T0 through T4, containing 0-0, 7-3, 9-5, 11.5-2.5, and 14-0 % whole chia seed and whole flaxseed respectively, were fed to two hundred forty White Shaver laying hens, at 60 weeks of age. No significant difference (P<0.05) in egg production, egg weight, yolk weight, and white weight were found among treatments. Total Omega-3 fatty acid percentage was significantly higher (P<0.05) in the yolks from the hens fed the alpha-linolenic fatty acid enriched diets, compared to those fed the control diet. Of those treatments which had any combination of chia and flaxseed comprising 14% of the diet, T2 yielded a significantly lower (P<0.05) omega-3 content in the yolk, than did T3 and T4. A taste panel found no significant difference (P<0.05) in flavor or off-flavor among treatments, however panel preferences were lower for eggs produced by hens fed the highest level of flaxseed (T2). Thus this study showed no advantages to replacing chia with flaxseed to produce Omega-3 enriched eggs.   Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 81(3):355-362.

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