Quality of egg yolks after oxycarotenoids supplementation in hens' diets
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Oxycarotenoids concentration in layer hens’ feed may be increased whenever the consumer market demands for more pigmented egg yolks. Oxycarotenoids present in Rubrivivax gelatinosus biomass grown in industrial wastewater have already proved their ability on enhancing yolk color. Moreover, there is a current interest on the antioxidant properties that some carotenoids may provide to food and health. So, in this experiment, we investigated the effects of oxycarotenoids supplementation in hens´ diets on yolk composition and stability to rancidity. Hy line hens aging 19 weeks were individually housed in wire cages equipped with feeders and drinkers. After 15 days receiving a corn basal diet nutritionally balanced, they were assigned to four different treatments, with six replicates, that lasted for 28 days: T1 – basal diet (control), T2 – basal diet + 1.5 mg/kg canthaxanthin, T3 – basal diet + 4.5 g/kg freeze dried R. gelatinosus biomass and T4 - basal diet + 4.5 g/kg spray dried R. gelatinosus biomass. Eggs laid on the last 5 days of rearing were collected; the yolks were separated, analyzed for pH and then freeze dried for the further analyses. Proximate composition was determined after drying and the rancidity (TBRAS method) was investigated at 0, 30 and 60 days of storage at room temperature/dark conditions. Yolks that received the oxycarotenoids had the lowest moisture content and the highest protein contents (P < 0.05). Lipids and pH were the same for all treatments (P > 0.05) and ashes only were higher for T2 (P < 0.05). All treatments that received oxycarotenoids had lower TBARS than control group and, among them, oxycarotenoids from spray dried R. gelatinosus biomass were the most effective to prevent rancidity (P < 0.05). So, we concluded that the use of R. gelatinosus biomass in hens feed brings positive effects to the yolk quality, since protein content is increased and conservation is increased due to decreased water content and lipid oxidation.
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