Duration of the flaxseed diet promotes deposition of n-3 fatty acids in the meat and skin of Peking ducks
Background: Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly n-3, have beneficial effects on human health, and for this reason foodstuffs with increased content of n-3 PUFA are now very common and widely available.
Design: This study was conducted to investigate the effect of the duration of a flaxseed diet on Peking duck’s growth performance, antioxidant status, gene expression, and fatty acid profile of the meat. A total of 792 12-day-old white Peking ducks were divided into four groups. In the control group, animals were provided with a basal diet. In the three experimental groups, animals were fed a 10% flax seed diet with vitamin E at 13, 23, and 33 days of age for 30, 20, and 10 days, respectively.
Results: The growth performance of the ducks decreased with flaxseed diet’s duration. Both body weight and body weight gain decreased linearly while Feed conversion ratios (FCR) increased in the group of ducks fed flaxseed compared to control ducks. Serum triglycerides (TG), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) linearly decreased while high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) levels increased by feeding flaxseed up to 30 days. The expression of lipin-1 gene (LPIN-1) and fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2) linearly increased in ducks fed flaxseed for 30 days. Linolenic acid (n-3) and its long-chain metabolites like eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and total n-3 fatty acids (FA) linearly increased while the ratio of n-6 to n-3 was reduced with increased duration of flaxseed supplementation.
Conclusion: Overall, we found that increasing the duration of flaxseed diet with vitamin E for more than 10 days had a mild adverse effect on duck’s growth performance but enrichedits meat with long-chain PUFA and decreased the n-6 to n-3 ratio, providing quality meat for health-conscious consumers. A period of 20 days is good for producing n-3 enriched Peking duck meat and skin.
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