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Increasing awareness of the health benefits of n-3 fatty acids has led to studies related to the manipulation of the fatty acid composition of animal products. These fatty acids, especially eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; C20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; C22:6n-3), are abundant in foods of marine origin. Fish consumption is, however, limited by seasonal availability, affordability and consumers' preference. Recent studies on the provision of n-3 fatty acid rich foods have therefore centred on the enrichment of products such as poultry meat through feeding fish oil diets. However, decreased quality (storage and flavour) has been associated with products from poultry fed such diets. Other dietary sources of n-3 fatty acids such as fish meal and plant seed oils result in minor improvement of the quality and low levels of EPA and DHA in the enriched product. Supplementation of high levels of vitamin E or other synthetic antibiotics in diets may increase oxidative stability and hence the storage quality of n-3 fatty acid enriched broiler meat. However, their reported influence on off-flavour is conflicting. Other methods of reducing off-flavour in enriched meat involving the use of processed n-3 PUFA sources although may reduce off-flavour, result in reduced deposition of EPA and DPA. Marine algae (MA) is an attractive source of n-3 fatty acids because it is a primary rich source of DHA and contains naturally occurring carotinoids, which are useful for their antioxidant activity. Investigations into the use of MA and identification of cheaper sources of n-3 PUFA for the enrichment of broiler chicken are needed. In addition, the search for viable methods of reducing off-flavour in n-3 enriched broiler meat should continue. The production of high quality and affordable broiler meat is essential for realising the full benefits associated with the consumption of n-3 fatty acid enriched products.

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Ten Holstein cows between 8 and 12 weeks in lactation were used to investigate the effect of feeding full-fat soybean, full-fat sunflower, and a Ca-soap source (Profat) on the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) content of milk. Cows were fed the experimental fat sources in the dosage of 500 g crude fat daily. The results indicated that milk CLA content increased in relation to the linoleic acid concentration of experimental fat supplements, namely full-fat sunflower increased the most and Profat increased the least the CLA concentration in milk. The strength of the correlation was r=0.62 between the linoleic acid concentration in feed and the CLA content in milk. The strength of correlation increased to r=0.69 when both linoleic acid and linolenic acid concentration of feed were used in the calculation. Considering milk production and the daily production of CLA in milk, the following equation described the relationship between the linoleic acid content of fat supplements and CLA concentration in milk: x=167.52+0.483×y; where x=CLA mg l −1 milk and y=linoleic+linolenic acid content of fat sources, g/day. Along with milk CLA, the trans -C18:1 concentration of milk also increased, but the magnitude of the increase was smaller compared to that of milk CLA.

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Acta Alimentaria
Authors: G. Kovács, J. Schmidt, F. Husvéth, K. Dublecz, L. Wágner, and E. Farkas-Zele
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An experiment was performed to study the effect of different vegetable oils containing high proportions of PUFA (5% soybean oil, SBO; and sunflower oil, SFO; respectively, in the DM of concentrate) or grass silage (150 g DM/d/animal, GSL) on the level of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers and other C18 fatty acids in muscle and adipose tissues of growing lambs. Control animals were fed on the same diet as SBO or SFO groups; however, instead of vegetable oils hydrogenated palm oil containing low level of PUFA was applied. In both muscle and adipose samples tested c-9, t-11 C18:2 showed the highest levels among the CLA isomers, however, t-10, c-12 CLA could also be measured in lower proportions. Considering vegetable oil supplementations, only SBO resulted in a significantly higher level of c-9, t-11 CLA in the triceps brachii muscle as compared to the control. Such a difference could not be detected in either the gracilis muscle or in the adipose tissue samples. However, lambs fed on the GSL diet had significantly higher c-9, t-11 CLA levels in both the triceps and gracilis muscles and lower proportion of t-10, c-12 CLA in the adipose than those fed on the control, SBO and SFO diets, respectively. Concerning C18 fatty acids other than CLA, SFO lambs showed significantly higher proportions of C18:1n-9 than those of control animals in both muscles and perirenal fat tested. However, level of C18:0 in the adipose tissue of GSL lambs was significantly lower than that of the animals fed both control or vegetable oil supplemented diets. Results of this experiments show that different dietary fatty acid sources have various potential to increase CLA contents in the meat of lambs. In addition to vegetable oils rich in PUFA, grass silage may be good dietary source for nutritional manipulation of the fatty acid composition of lamb meat.

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