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Title: Nutritional quality of eggs from hens fed distillers' dried grains with solubles

item TRUPIA, SABRINA - National Corn To Ethanol Research Center
item Moser, Jill
item GUNEY, A - National Corn To Ethanol Research Center
item BECKSTEAD, ROBERT - University Of Georgia
item CHEN, C-Y - Tufts University
item JUNG, BYOUNGYUN - University Of Georgia
item BATAL, AMY - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/16/2015
Publication Date: 4/26/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Trupia, S., Winkler-Moser, J.K., Guney, A.C., Beckstead, R., Chen, C.-Y.O. 2016. Nutritional quality of eggs from hens fed distillers dried grains with solubles. Poultry Science. doi: 10.3382/ps/pew142.

Interpretive Summary: DDGS is a coproduct of corn to ethanol production. It is currently available in either regular (10% fat) or in low-fat (3-8% fat) forms, as some of the oil can be removed after ethanol production. DDGS is commonly used in cattle and other livestock feed. In poultry, including layers and broilers, it has been shown that DDGS levels up to 20% of the feed can be successfully incorporated into the diets. DDGS is concentrated, compared to regular feed corn, in many beneficial lipid phytochemicals, including tocopherols, which are Vitamin E and carotenoids, which have antioxidant activity, are beneficial for eye health, and lend desirable color to egg yolks. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of added regular (R-DDGS) and low-fat (L-DDGS) on layer hen performance, and the nutritional quality of the eggs. The results showed that feeding up to 20% of R-DDGS and L-DDGS had no significant effect on layer growth or performance, cholesterol or lecithin content. Egg yolks from layers fed DDGS had more yellow and red color, and were enhanced in Vitamin E and xanthophylls, indicating that feeding layer hens DDGS had a positive impact on the nutritional quality of egg lipids.

Technical Abstract: Distiller grains with soluble (DDGS) have roughly three times the amount of oil as regular corn used in feeds, and several studies have shown that DDGS also have higher concentrations of lipophilic bioactives such as tocopherols, tocotrienols, and xanthophylls, because the levels found in whole corn are concentrated about three-fold as the starch is used up for ethanol production. About 50% of ethanol producers now remove some of the lipids from DDGS, resulting in lipid content in regular-fat DDGS ranging from 10 to 13%, and in low-fat DDGS, ranging from 3 to 8% fat. Thus far, the effect of either regular- or low-fat DDGS inclusion in the diet of laying hens on the content and composition of egg lipids has not been reported. Thus, a feeding trial was conducted with laying hens where either 10% or 20% regular-fat DDGS (R-DDGS) or low-fat DDGS (L-DDGS) were incorporated into the feed. Production parameters and the effect of DDGS on egg nutritional quality, focusing on yolk lipids, were evaluated. Neither R-DDGS nor L-DDGS at up to 20% of laying hen feeds had a statistically significant impact on hen weight gain, egg production, feed intake, feed efficiency, egg mass, or egg weight. Specific gravity was slightly lower for eggs from hens fed 10% R-DDGS or 20% L-DDGS. Eggs from layers fed DDGS had enhanced levels of tocopherols, tocotrienols, and xanthophylls in the yolk, as well as also increased yolk yellow and red color. Eggs from L-DDGS diet had higher tocopherol content, but eggs from R-DDGS diets had higher xanthophylls. Fatty acid composition in eggs was slightly altered by DDGS, but the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fatty acids remained the same. Feeding DDGS to layer hens had no effect on lecithin or cholesterol content of the eggs, and while feeds made with DDGS had higher antioxidant activity, they had no effect on the antioxidant activity of the egg yolks measured by the FRAP assay. Thus, inclusion of DDGS in the diet of laying hens resulted in increases of several beneficial lipophilic nutrients in egg yolks with no apparent detrimental effects.