Influence of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on sensory characteristics of chicken meat

https://doi.org/10.17221/356-CJASCitation:Zelenka J., Jarošová A., Schneiderová D. (2008): Influence of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on sensory characteristics of chicken meat. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 53: 299-305.
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The relationship between different levels of n-6 and n-3 PUFA in chicken breast and thigh meat and sensory characteristics of meat was studied. Chickens were fed diets containing 1, 3, 5 or 7 percent of oil made of seeds either of the linseed cultivar Atalante (A) with a high content of α-linolenic acid or of the cultivar Lola (L) with a predominating content of linoleic acid. The meat of chickens fed L showed better sensory characteristics than the meat of birds fed A. If the tissue contained more than 180 mg/100 g of n-3 PUFA, i.e. the thigh meat when chickens were fed 3% or more A and the breast meat when chickens were fed 7% A, significant fishy odour and taste as well as slight oily aftertaste were recorded. Texture, tenderness and juiciness of breast meat did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) in groups fed different diets. Thigh meat in the group with 1% A was significantly (P < 0.05) more fibrous than in the group with 7% L; however, there were no differences in texture between the other groups. The thigh meat of chickens fed L was tenderer, juicier and tastier than the meat of those fed A. Tenderness and juiciness were the highest in the group fed 7% of L. There is only a limited possibility to increase the intake of n-3 PUFA without any risk of changes in sensory characteristics of meat. If the levels of α-linolenic acid in the diet were 6.5 and 31 g/kg and the n-6/n-3 PUFA ratios in the meat were 3.3:1 and 0.9:1, respectively, the sensory value of TM and BM was not significantly deteriorated.
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