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Meat Sci. 2014 Jan;96(1):114-9. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2013.06.021. Epub 2013 Jun 15.

Effect of dietary supplementation of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) and Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) on rabbit meat appearance, oxidative stability and fatty acid profile during retail display.

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Department of Applied Biology, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06121 Perugia, Italy. Electronic address:


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Spirulina and Thyme supplementation on rabbit meat during retail display. At weaning 294 rabbits were allocated to 7 different treatments (42 rabbits/treatment). Rabbits of the control group (C) received a diet without any supplementation throughout the experiment (5-11 weeks of age). The other groups were fed diets containing 5% Spirulina (S), 3% Thyme (T) or both supplements (ST) for the whole trial (5-11 weeks; treatments S, T and ST), or for a part of the growing period (8-11 weeks; treatments C-S, C-T and C-ST). Colour parameters, pH, water holding capacity and drip loss were determined on fresh and stored Longissimus dorsi muscle of 5 rabbits/treatment. Spirulina- and Thyme-supplemented diets had a significant effect on redness and yellowness of Longissimus dorsi. Drip loss was significantly reduced in C-T and T groups that also showed the highest content of α-tocopherol and n-3 fatty acids content and the lower lipid oxidation.


Lipid oxidation; Physical traits; Rabbit meat; Spirulina; Thyme

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