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Poult Sci. 2002 Jan;81(1):30-3.

Fatty acid composition and egg components of specialty eggs.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-6702, USA.


Egg components, total fat, and fatty acid content of specialty eggs were compared. One dozen eggs were collected and analyzed from each of five different brands from hens fed a diet free of animal fat (SP1), certified organic free-range brown eggs (SP2), uncaged unmedicated brown eggs (SP3), cage-free vegetarian diet brown eggs (SP4), or naturally nested uncaged (SP5). Regular white-shelled eggs were the control. A significant (P < 0.05) difference was observed in the egg components and fatty acid content in different brands. The percentage of yolk was lower (P < 0.05) in SP2 and SP4 with a concomitant increase (P < 0.05) in the percentage of white. The percentage of shell was lower (P < 0.05) in SP4 and SP5. The total edible portion was greater in SP4 and SP5. The yolk:white ratio was greater (P < 0.05) in SP3. The total lipid content was lower in SP4 eggs. The content of palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), and total saturated fatty acids were lower (P < 0.05) in SP1. No difference was observed in the content of palmitoleic (C16:1), oleic (C18:1), or total monounsaturated fatty acids. The content of n-3 fatty acids in SP2, SP4, and SP5 were similar to control eggs. The ratio of total n-6:n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids ranged from 39.2 for SP5 to 11.5 for SP1 (P < 0.05). No difference was observed in the total polyunsaturated fatty acid content of eggs (P > 0.05).

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