Effect of dietary conjugated linoleic acid on the quality characteristics of chicken eggs during refrigerated storage.Poult Sci. 1999 Jun; 78(6):922-8.PS
Twenty-four, 79-wk-old White Leghorn hens were assigned randomly to three diets containing 0, 2.5, or 5.0% conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The diets were fed for 4 wk to determine the effect of dietary CLA on quality characteristics of eggs. Eggs were collected daily and stored at 4 C for 1, 7, 21, or 49 d. At the designated times, the eggs were processed to evaluate water content, fatty acid composition, color, proportions and pH of yolk and albumen. Firmness of yolk after the eggs were hard-cooked was also determined. The proportions of myristic, palmitic, stearic, CLA (9-cis, 11-trans CLA and 10-trans, 12-cis CLA isomers), and unidentified fatty acids in egg yolk lipids were increased as dietary CLA increased, but those of palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic, arachidonic, and docosahexaenoic acid were decreased. Duration of refrigeration increased the proportion of egg yolk but decreased the contents of albumen and yolk lipids after 21 d or longer of storage. Egg yolk pH increased as refrigeration time increased, regardless of dietary treatment, but the increase was greater in the eggs produced by hens fed the CLA diets. Albumen pH increased significantly after 7 d of storage but remained unchanged until 21 d and then decreased by 49 d. Dietary CLA had no effect on the pH of albumen until 49 d of storage. After 49 d storage, egg albumen pH from hens fed CLA diets was lower than that of albumen from hens fed the control diet. Yolk color was not influenced by the dietary CLA and storage, but the egg yolk surface from hens fed CLA diets sometimes had relatively dark color with light spots. Dietary CLA and storage of CLA eggs increased the firmness of hard-cooked egg yolk. The texture of yolks from hard-cooked CLA eggs was rubbery and elastic, and the yolks were more difficult to break using an Instron. It was speculated that the quality changes of CLA eggs were related to the increase of yolk water content, the movement of ions between yolk and albumen through yolk membrane, and the changes of egg yolk pH during storage.