Dietary polyunsaturated fat reduces skin fat as well as abdominal fat in broiler chickens

G. Ferrini, M. D. Baucells, E. Esteve-García, A. C. Barroeta

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68 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to determine the effect of different dietary fatty acid profiles on the main fat depots of broiler chickens: skin including s.c. fat (SK) and abdominal fat pad (AF). One hundred forty-four female broiler chickens were fed a low-fat diet (B; 0.5% of added fat) or diets supplemented with 10% of tallow (T), sunflower oil rich in oleic acid (SOO), sunflower oil rich in linoleic acid (SOL), linseed oil rich in linolenic acid (LO), or a mix of fats (M: 55% of T + 35% of LO +10% SOL) that contained one-third each of saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The animals were housed in 36 cages and were randomly distributed into 6 dietary treatments with 6 replicates each. Experimental diets were evaluated for apparent total fatty acid availability and AME. On d 42, birds were slaughtered to determine the weight of AF and SK and fatty acid profile. Regarding the diets containing 10% added fat, the highest saturated diet (T) resulted in the lowest values of apparent total fatty acid availability and percentage of AME. Animals fed the most polyunsaturated diet (LO) had a lower SK deposition than those fed the saturated diet, on both an absolute (LO: 145 vs. T: 159 and M: 168 g; P < 0.001) and a relative basis (LO: 6.94 vs. T: 7.39 and M: 7.52 g/100 g of BW; P < 0.001). Furthermore, the lowest AF depot was observed in the LO diet (LO: 26.3 g vs. T: 37.6 and M: 39.9 g; P < 0.001). The added fat treatments caused significant but similar changes in fatty acid profile of both studied tissues. In conclusion, feeding broiler chickens polyunsaturated fatty acids, in comparison to dietary saturated fatty acids, reduced the amount of both AF and SK by approximately 30 and 9%, respectively. © 2008 Poultry Science Association Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-535
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008


  • Abdominal fat pad
  • Broiler
  • Fatty acid profile
  • Skin fat


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