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Poult Sci. 2012 May;91(5):1210-21. doi: 10.3382/ps.2011-01886.

Effect of feeding fermented Ginkgo biloba leaves on growth performance, meat quality, and lipid metabolism in broilers.

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College of Forest Resource & Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, People's Republic of China.


Aspergillus niger-fermented Ginkgo biloba leaves (FR) and its comparative effect with vitamin E (VE) and nonfermented (NF) Ginkgo leaves on growth, lipid metabolism, antioxidant capacity, and meat quality of broiler chicks were investigated. In total, 360 one-day-old broiler chicks were randomly allocated into 6 dietary treatments, which were then denoted as control group (basal diet), VE group (containing respectively 15 and 30 IU/kg of all-rac-α-tocopherol acetate in the starter and grower phase), NF group (containing respectively 0.35% and 0.7% NF in the starter and grower phase), and FR1, FR2, and FR3 groups containing respectively 0.2, 0.35, and 0.5% FR in the starter and 0.4, 0.7, and 1.0% FR in the grower phase. The results on performance showed that a significant (P < 0.05) reduction of feed:gain ratio of birds in the FR2 group (22-42 d and 1-42 d) was observed when compared with that of the control and NF groups. With dietary FR increasing, the serum α-tocopherol concentration increased linearly (P = 0.001). Compared with the control, broilers had higher (P < 0.05) serum high-density lipoprotein concentration, total superoxide dismutase activities, and total antioxidant capacity when they were provided with the FR2 and FR3 diet. Whereas the low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride concentrations were lower (P < 0.05 or P < 0.01) in broilers from FR2 or FR3 groups. As the dietary FR increased, abdominal fat (P = 0.002) and muscle malondialdehyde (P = 0.001) concentrations decreased. Furthermore, 24-h pH, 24-h drip loss, and cooking loss were greatly improved (P < 0.05) as the levels of FR increased. Birds fed with FR had a lower (P < 0.05) C16:0 and C18:0 concentrations but a greater (P = 0.001) concentration of C18:2, C18:3, and C20:4 than that of the control. In conclusion, FR can improve the growth performance and lipid metabolism of broilers with decreased abdominal fat deposition. Also, the antioxidant capacity and meat quality improving effects observed in broilers fed FR products might result from the increased retention of α-tocopherol and reduction in lipid peroxidation, as evidenced by the decrease in malondialdehyde and the increase in total superoxide dismutase activities.

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