Egg yolk fatty acid profile in relation to dietary fatty acid concentrations.J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Jan 30; 92(2):366-72.JS
The health benefits of n-3 fatty acids have led to much research on manipulating the fatty acid composition of animal-derived foods. In this study, two experiments were conducted to investigate the interaction of dietary fatty acids on egg yolk fatty acid concentrations. In experiment I, 32 dietary treatments with three replicates of three birds each were fed for 35 days. Diets were prepared by mixing one type of fish oil with four vegetable oils in different proportions. In experiment II, three different types and two levels of fish oil in combination with two vegetable oils were tested under the same conditions as in experiment I.
In experiment I the results showed that the egg yolk saturated (SFA) and monounsaturated (MUFA) fatty acid concentration was determined by the dietary SFA, MUFA and 18:2n-6 content. The egg 18:2n-6 concentration was mainly explained by the dietary inclusion of 18:2n-6 and negatively by the dietary MUFA content. The egg C18:3n-3, C20:5n-3 and C22:6n-3 concentration is almost exclusively determined by their direct supply from the diet. The egg 20:4n-6 concentration was inversely proportional to the long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content of the diet. The results of experiment II showed that the egg yolk C20:5n-3 and C22:6n-3 concentration was determined by both the level of dietary fish oil (1 or 2%) and the C20:5n-3/C22:6n-3 ratio in the fish oil.
The results of this study demonstrated that the direct dietary supply of fatty acids is the most important factor determining the egg yolk fatty acid composition, in particular for the n-3 fatty acids. The interaction effect from other dietary fatty acids was in general small.