, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 601–614 | Cite as

Hempseed Products Fed to Hens Effectively Increased n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Total Lipids, Triacylglycerol and Phospholipid of Egg Yolk

  • M. Neijat
  • M. Suh
  • J. Neufeld
  • J. D. HouseEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Northern Great Plains Lipid Conference


Hempseed products represent potential alternative feed ingredients for poultry. However, their usage is not currently approved due to a lack of data to support their safety and efficacy. In this regard, the current study was conducted to assess the impact of dietary concentration of hempseed (HS) products and duration of their feeding to hens on the polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) composition of egg yolk lipids. In the current study, 48 Lohmann LSL-Classic hens were individually housed in metabolism cages, in a completely randomized design, and provided one of six diets (wheat-barley-soybean-based) containing either HS (10, 20 and 30 %), hempseed oil (HO; 4.5 and 9.0 %) or no hempseed product (control) over 12 weeks. Increasing alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) intake via increasing dietary hempseed product inclusion, significantly (p < 0.0001) increased the n-3 PUFA contents of yolk total lipid. The values of ALA increased by 12-fold (152 ± 3.56 and 156 ± 2.42 mg/yolk) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by twofold to threefold (41.3 ± 1.57 and 43.6 ± 1.61 mg/yolk) over the control, for the highest levels of HS and HO inclusion, respectively. Increasing levels of hemp products in laying hen diets proved effective in manipulating the fatty acid profile of the total lipid, triacylglycerol (TAG) and total phospholipid (PL) fractions of yolks, enhancing the n-3 fatty acids and reducing the n-6/n-3 ratio. The latter benefit was achieved within 4 weeks of feeding hens either HS- or HO-containing diets.


Egg yolk Hempseed products Fatty acid profile 



Acid detergent fibre


Alpha-Linolenic (C18:3n-3)


Arachidonic acid (C20:4n-6)


Docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6n-3)


Docosapentaenoic acid (C22:5n-3)


Eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5n-3)


Gamma-linolenic acid (C18:3n-6)




Hempseed oil


Linoleic acid (C18:2n-6)


Monounsaturated fatty acid(s)


Neutral detergent fiber




Polyunsaturated fatty acid(s)


Saturated fatty acid(s)





This work was supported by a grant from the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA; Winnipeg, MB, Canada); Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP; Ottawa, ON, Canada) and Province of Manitoba Science and Technology International Collaboration Fund (Winnipeg, MB, Canada). In addition, the authors acknowledge statistical assistance from Drs. G. H. Crow and L. Onischuk (Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba), technical assistance from N. Gakhar (Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba) and support with animal care from J. Levandoski and A. Chartier (Poultry Research Unit, University of Manitoba).


  1. 1.
    Morrison WR (1977) Cereal lipids. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 36(2):143–148CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Maldjian A, Cristofori C, Noble RC, Speake BK (1996) “The fatty acid composition of brain phospholipids from chicken and duck embryos”, Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part B Biochem. Mol Biol 115(2):153–158Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Simopoulos AP (2000) Human requirement for N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Poult Sci 79(7):961–970CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yalçýn H, Ünal MK, Basmacýoolu H (2007) The fatty acid and cholesterol composition of enriched egg yolk lipids obtained by modifying hens’ diets with fish oil and flaxseed. Grasas Aceites 58(4):372–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Souza J, Costa F, Queiroga R, Silva J, Schuler A, Goulart C (2008) Fatty acid profile of eggs of semi-heavy layers fed feeds containing linseed oil. Rev. Bras. Ciência Avícola 10(1):37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Institute of Medicine (2005) Dietary Reference Intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. National Academies Press, Washington, D.CGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Caston L, Leeson S (1990) Research note: dietary flax and egg composition. Poult Sci 69(9):1617–1620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Cherian G, Sim JS (1991) Effect of feeding full fat flax and canola seeds to laying hens on the fatty acid composition of eggs, embryos, and newly hatched chicks. Poult Sci 70(4):917–922CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Baucells MD, Crespo N, Barroeta AC, López-Ferrer S, Grashorn MA (2000) Incorporation of different polyunsaturated fatty acids into eggs. Poult Sci 79(1):51–59CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Calder PC (1998) Immunoregulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Braz J Med Biol Res 31(4):467–490CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Surai P, Sparks NH (2001) Designer eggs: from improvement of egg composition to functional food. Trends Food Sci Technol 12(1):7–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    González-Esquerra R, Leeson S (2001) Alternatives for enrichment of eggs and chicken meat with omega-3 fatty acids. Can J Anim Sci 81(3):295–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hayat Z, Cherian G, Pasha TN, Khattak FM, Jabbar MA (2009) Effect of feeding flax and two types of antioxidants on egg production, egg quality, and lipid composition of eggs. J Appl Poult Res 18(3):541–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jhala AJ, Hall LM (2010) Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.): current uses and future applications. Aust J Basic Appl Sci 4(9):4304–4312Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    D. H. Morris, “Flax: A health and nutrition primer,” Flax Council of Canada, 2007Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Raes K, De Smet S, Demeyer D (2004) Effect of dietary fatty acids on incorporation of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid in lamb, beef and pork meat: a review. Anim Feed Sci Technol 113(1–4):199–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mayengbam S, Yang H, Barthet V, Aliani M, House JD (2014) Identification, characterization, and quantification of an anti-pyridoxine factor from flaxseed using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Agric Food Chem 62(2):419–426CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Caston S, Squires LJ, Leeson EJ (1994) “Hen performance, egg quality, and the sensory evaluation of eggs from SCWL hens fed dietary flax”. Can J Anim Sci 74(2):347–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Scheideler SE, Froning GW (1996) The combined influence of dietary flaxseed variety, level, form, and storage conditions on egg production and composition among vitamin E-supplemented hens. Poult Sci 75(10):1221–1226CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Aymond WM, Van Elswyk ME (1995) Yolk thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and n-3 fatty acids in response to whole and ground flaxseed. Poult Sci 74(8):1388–1394CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Scheideler SE, Froning G, Cuppett S (1997) Studies of consumer acceptance of high omega-3 fatty acid-enriched eggs. J Appl Poult Res 6(2):137–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Leeson S, Caston L, Maclaurin T (1998) Organoleptic evaluation of eggs produced by laying hens fed diets containing graded levels of flaxseed and vitamin E. Poult Sci 77(9):1436–1440CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Callaway JC (2004) Hempseed as a nutritional resource: an overview. Euphytica 140(1–2):65–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gakhar N, Goldberg E, Jing M, Gibson R, House JD (2012) Effect of feeding hemp seed and hemp seed oil on laying hen performance and egg yolk fatty acid content: evidence of their safety and efficacy for laying hen diets. Poult Sci 91(3):701–711CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    House JD, Neufeld J, Leson G (2010) Evaluating the quality of protein from hemp seed (Cannabis sativa L.) products through the use of the protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score method. J Agric Food Chem 58(22):11801–11807CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Goldberg EM, Gakhar N, Ryland D, Aliani M, Gibson RA, House JD (2012) Fatty acid profile and sensory characteristics of table eggs from laying hens fed hempseed and hempseed oil. J Food Sci 77(4):S153–S160CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Parker TD, Adams DA, Zhou K, Harris M, Yu L (2003) Fatty acid composition and oxidative stability of cold-pressed edible seed oils. J Food Sci 68(4):1240–1243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kris-Etherton PM, Taylor DS, Yu-Poth S, Huth P, Moriarty K, Fishell V, Hargrove RL, Zhao G, Etherton TD (2000) Polyunsaturated fatty acids in the food chain in the United States. Am J Clin Nutr 71(1 SUPPL.):179S–188SPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Simopoulos A (2002) The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomed Pharmacother 56(8):365–379CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    C. Leizer, D. M. Ribnicky, A. Poulev, D. Dushenkov, and I. Raskin, “The composition of hemp seed oil and its potential as an important source of nutrition,” J. Nutraceuticals, Funct. Med. Foods, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 35–53, 2000Google Scholar
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
    Silversides FG, Lefrançois MR (2005) The effect of feeding hemp seed meal to laying hens. Br Poult Sci 46(2):231–235CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Makrides M, Hawkes JS, Neumann MA, Gibson RA (2002) Nutritional effect of including egg yolk in the weaning diet of breast-fed and formula-fed infants: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 75(6):1084–1092PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Osborn HT, Akoh CC (2002) Structured lipids-novel fats with medical, nutraceutical, and food applications. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 1(3):110–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    “Lohmann, LSL-Classic. Layer Management Guide, Lohmann LSL-Classic,” Lohmann Tierzucht GmbH. Cuxhaven, Germany, 2004. [Online]. Available:
  36. 36.
    A. A. Olfert, E. D. Cross, B. M. and McWilliam, Ed., Canadian Council on Animal Care. Guide to the care and use of experimental animals, 2nd ed. Ottawa, Ontario: CCAC, 1993Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Folch J, Lees M, Stanley GHS (1957) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipides from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226(1):497–509PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Burdge GC, Wright P, Jones AE, Wootton SA (2000) A method for separation of phosphatidylcholine, triacylglycerol, non-esterified fatty acids and cholesterol esters from plasma by solid-phase extracti on. Br J Nutr 84(5):781–787PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Suh M, Wierzbicki AA, Clandinin MT (1994) Dietary fat alters membrane composition in rod outer segments in normal and diabetic rats: impact on content of very-long-chain (C > or = 24) polyenoic fatty acids. Biochim. Biophys. Acta Lipids Lipid Metab 1214(1):54–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    L. Hartman, “Rapid preparation of fatty acid methyl esters from lipids,” LAB.PRACT., vol. 22, no. 7, pp. 475–476, 1973Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Lewis NM, Seburg S, Flanagan NL (2000) Enriched eggs as a source of N-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for humans. Poult Sci 79(7):971–974CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ferrier LK, Caston LJ, Leeson S, Squires J, Weaver BJ, Holub BJ (1995) α-Linolenic acid- and docosahexaenoic acid-enriched eggs from hens fed flaxseed: influence on blood lipids and platelet phospholipid fatty acids in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 62(1):81–86PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Jiang Z, Ahn DU, Sim JS (1991) Effects of Feeding Flax and Two Types of Sunflower Seeds on Fatty Acid Compositions of Yolk Lipid Classes. Poult Sci 70(12):2467–2475CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Anton M, Gandemer G (1997) Composition, solubility and emulsifying properties of granules and plasma of egg yolk. J Food Sci 62(3):484–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Sprecher H (2000) “Metabolism of highly unsaturated n-3 and n-6 fatty acids”. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Biol Lipids 1486(2–3):219–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Lawlor JB, Gaudette N, Dickson T, House JD (2010) Fatty acid profile and sensory characteristics of table eggs from laying hens fed diets containing microencapsulated fish oil. Anim Feed Sci Technol 156(3–4):97–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    de Carvalho PR, Goncalves MC, Piber E, de Mendonca CX (2011) “Lipid profile of the yolk under the influence of supplementaries sources rich in Ω-3 PUFAs in the diet of laying hens in the time”, Pakistan. J Nutr 10(8):760–772Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Hargis BM, Van Elswyk PS, Hargis ME (1991) “Dietary modification of yolk lipid with menhaden oil”. Poult Sci 70(4):874–883CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Tu WC, Cook-Johnson RJ, James MJ, Mühlhäusler BS, Gibson RA (2010) Omega-3 long chain fatty acid synthesis is regulated more by substrate levels than gene expression. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 83(2):61–68CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Yeh Y-Y, Yeh S-M, Lien EL (1998) Modification of milk formula to enhance accretion of long-chain n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in artificially reared infant rats. Lipids 33(5):513–520CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    M. L. Garg, E. Sebokova, a. Wierzbicki, a. B. R. Thomson, and M. T. Clandinin, “Differential effects of dietary linoleic and α-linolenic acid on lipid metabolism in rat tissues,” Lipids, vol. 23, no. 9, pp. 847–852, 1988Google Scholar

Copyright information

© AOCS 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Neijat
    • 1
  • M. Suh
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. Neufeld
    • 2
  • J. D. House
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of Human Nutritional SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and NutraceuticalsUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and MedicineSt. Boniface Research CentreWinnipegCanada

Personalised recommendations