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Acta Vet Hung. 1996;44(2):213-9.

Effect of retinyl acetate, ascorbic acid and tocopherol supplementation of the feed on egg vitamin A content in Japanese quail.

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Department of Animal Physiology and Health, University of Agricultural Sciences, Gödöllö, Hungary.


The ration fed to laying Japanese quails was supplemented either with retinyl acetate (RA) (50 x 10(3) IU/kg, group A), ascorbic acid (500 mg/kg, group C), or with both substances in combination with each other (group AC) and with tocopheryl acetate (37.8 IU/kg; groups AE and ACE). On days 1, 8, 14, 20 and 28, some quantitative parameters of eggs (mass of egg-shell, albumen and egg yolk, retinoid content of egg yolk) were measured. The egg production parameters were not significantly affected by the supplementations. By the end of the second week, the total vitamin A (retinyl esters + retinol) concentrations of the egg yolk were significantly higher in the groups receiving supplemented feed (AC, AE and AEC) than in the control group. Two weeks later (on day 28), the vitamin A levels were elevated significantly in all groups except the group treated with ascorbic acid. From the point of view of vitamin A fortification of the egg yolk, the combined supplementations (groups AC, AE, AEC) seem to be more effective. The results indicate that vitamin A content of the egg yolk can be increased by a short-term RA supplementation of the laying ration. The retinoids present in the natural substances of eggs could possibly be a good source of vitamin A for humans.

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