Dose-dependent effect of a defatted green microalgal biomass on enriching omega-3 fatty acids in broiler chicken

Wednesday, July 23, 2014: 3:45 PM
2502 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Stephanie K Gatrell , Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Jonggun Kim , Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Theodore J Derksen , Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Eleanore V O'Neil , Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Xin Gen Lei , Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Abstract Text:

The objective of this experiment was to determine the feasibility of creating an omega-3 (n-3) enriched chicken product using defatted green microalgae (Nannochloropsis oceanica), a byproduct of the biofuel production research.  A total of 180 hatching Ross broiler chicks were divided into 5 groups (n = 6) fed a corn-soybean meal diet containing 0 (control), 2, 4, 8 or 16% algal biomass (Cellana, Kailua-Kona, HI) for 6 wk.  Plasma, breast muscle (pectoralis major) and liver were collected at wk 6.  Plasma n-3 fatty acid concentrations showed dose-dependent increases with the microalgal inclusion levels, and the concentration in the birds fed the 16% microalgae diet was 15-fold higher (P < 0.001) than that of the control.  Meanwhile, liver eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were increased 8 to 22- (P < 0.001) and 2 to 3-fold (P < 0.01), respectively, by feeding the microalgal biomass compared with the control.  Percentage of n-3 fatty acids, but not total fatty acid content, in the breast muscle was enhanced (P < 0.0001) by the microalgae inclusion in a dose-dependent fashion. Breast muscle EPA and DHA contents were elevated (P < 0.0001) by 38- and 60-fold, respectively, in the chicks fed the 8 and 16% microalgae diets compared with those fed the control diet. In conclusion, the defatted marine microalgal biomass tested in the present study was very effective in enriching n-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA and EPA, in broiler chicken tissues (Supported in part by USDA/DOE Biomass R&D Initiative Grant).

Keywords: Biofuel, nutrition, health