Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br Poult Sci. 2001 May;42(2):252-9.

Comparative evaluation of the effect of two maternal diets on fatty acids, vitamin E and carotenoids in the chick embryo.

Author information

  • 1Avian Science Research Centre, Scottish Agricultural College, Auchincruive, Ayr, Scotland.


1. The fatty acid profile of egg yolk and vitamin E and carotenoid accumulation in the egg yolk and embryonic tissues were investigated in relation to the maternal diet. 2. Two hundred fertile eggs (Ross 308 Broiler Breeder), obtained from hens fed on a maize-based (M-diet) or a wheat-based diet (W-diet), were incubated using standard conditions. 3. The egg yolk and embryo tissues (residual yolk, yolk sac membrane, liver, kidney, lung, muscles, adipose tissue and plasma) were collected on d 18 of incubation and on d 21 (newly-hatched chicks) and analysed for fatty acids, vitamin E and carotenoids. 4. The diets did not differ in terms of fatty acid or alpha-tocopherol concentrations. The concentration of carotenoids in the M-diet was 11.8 mg/kg and in the W-diet was 5.6 mg/kg with lutein and zeaxanthin being major carotenoids. 5. Eggs from the M-group contained higher (P<0.01) concentrations of beta+gamma-tocopherols, total carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Chickens hatched from those eggs were characterised by the increased concentrations of total carotenoids and zeaxanthin in all the tissues studied. The concentration of beta+gamma-tocopherol was enhanced only in the liver and yolk sac membrane. 6. It is concluded that the maternal diet plays an important role in antioxidant systems formation during chick embryonic development; the M-diet can increase the antioxidant potential of the egg yolk and embryonic tissues compared to the antioxidant potential provided by parent birds fed the W-diet.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk