, Volume 37, Issue 11, pp 1067-1076

Tuna fishmeal as a source of DHA for n−3 PUFA enrichment of pork, chicken, and eggs

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Enriching foods with long-chain n−3 PUFA (LC n−3 PUFA) is an important approach to increasing the dietary intake of these beneficial nutrients. Enrichment of meat and eggs can be achieved by adding flaxseed, fish oil, or fishmeal to pig or poultry feeds. However, utilization of these sources, particularly fishmeal, has been limited by concerns about adverse effects on sensory qualities. In this study, we evaluated the use of PorcOmegaTM (POM), a stabilized tuna fishmeal formulation, as a source of DHA for enrichment of pork and poultry products. Pigs, broilers, and laying hens were fed rations containing varying levels of POM for varying time periods, and its impact on the LC n−3 PUFA content and sensory qualities of cooked meat and eggs was examined. Pork and chicken products, including chops, sausages, and eggs, with substantially increased (up to sevenfold) levels of LC n−3 PUFA (predominantly DHA) were achieved by including up to 10% POM in rations. The increases were retained after cooking. Some sensory deficits were noted when using higher levels of POM (exceeding 15% in meat and 10% in eggs). However, at modest rates of feeding (5–10% POM), palatable meat and eggs were obtained with worthwhile levels of enrichment. The fishmeal feeding strategy used in this study offers a viable means of producing a range of alternative dietary sources of LC n−3 PUFA.