Original Paper

European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 232, Issue 4, pp 655-661

First online:

Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) as dietary additive for broilers: performance and oxidative stability of meat

  • Aline M. C. RacanicciAffiliated withCollege of Agronomy and Veterinary, University of Brasília (UnB) Email author 
  • , José F. M. MentenAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Science, University of São Paulo
  • , Severino M. AlencarAffiliated withDepartment of Food Science, University of São Paulo
  • , Rodrigo S. BuissaAffiliated withDepartment of Food Science, University of São Paulo
  • , Leif H. SkibstedAffiliated withFood Chemistry, Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen

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Aqueous extract of mate (dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis) added to drinking water for broilers for the last 14 days prior to slaughter did not affect performance at 25 days of age, but improved oxidative stability of the chicken meat. Oxidative stability of precooked breast meat made from control meat (CON) and from meat of broilers raised on water with mate added was investigated during chill storage for up to 7 days. The use of mate showed no influence on the content of lipids in chicken breast meat; however, lipid oxidation measured as thiobarbituric acid–reactive substances (TBARS) was significantly lower for meat from broilers raised on water with mate extracts in different concentrations (MA0.1, MA0.5, and MA1.0 corresponding to 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0% of mate dried leaves). The relative effect was largest at 1 day of storage with more than 50% reduction on TBARS; the result was still significant after 3 days, but almost vanished after 7 days, when oxidative rancidity was very high in all samples. In meat from broilers raised on water with mate extract, vitamin E was protected during cooking, although in the very rancid meat balls at 7 days of storage, the protection almost disappeared. Nevertheless, mate can be an interesting natural alternative to be used in chicken diets to improve lipid stability of the meat.


Natural antioxidant Fatty acids Lipid oxidation Precooked chicken meat Oxidative rancidity