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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Use of vitamin E to protect highly unsaturated fatty acids in poultry feeds

item Holser, Ronald

Submitted to: Feedinfo News Service
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2010
Publication Date: 4/28/2010
Citation: Holser, R.A. 2010. Use of vitamin E to protect highly unsaturated fatty acids in poultry feeds. Feedinfo News Service.

Interpretive Summary: The efficacy of vitamin E to prevent the oxidative degradation of unsaturated fatty acids was evaluated to determine the optimal concentrations to use in a poultry feed formulation. Unsaturated fatty acids can improve the nutritional quality of poultry products by providing a source of essential fatty acids to the consumer. At high concentrations vitamin E can promote oxidative degradation and reduce the benefits of the fatty acids. The results of this investigation demonstrated that the antioxidant properties of vitamin E were dependent on the concentration relative to the amount of unsaturated fatty acids present.

Technical Abstract: Vitamin E can protect sensitive compounds from oxidative degradation but at high concentrations it acts as a prooxidant to accelerate oxidative degradation process. The addition of polyunsaturated acids to poultry feeds provides a straightforward approach to improve the nutritional quality of poultry meat and eggs. However, the highly unsaturated structure of these lipid compounds makes them susceptible to oxidative degradation which results in a loss of bioactivity and the development of volatile degradation compounds. Antioxidants can limit the oxidative degradation of unsaturated compounds when included in the feed formulation. However, the beneficial amount of vitamin E in feed can vary with a number of factors including growth stage and environmental stress. Vitamin E can improve feed quality, production, and nutrition but should be evaluated carefully for optimal results.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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