Lipid composition of chicken breast meat

Background and methodology:

Lipids (an oily organic compound insoluble in water) measured in 20 chicken breasts were compared based on each product’s production system: organic, corn-fed, free-range and conventional. All products were purchased at the retail level and included 5 produced in an organic system, 4 free-range, 4 corn-fed and 7 produced in a conventional system. Neutral lipid (NL), phospholipid (PL) and free fatty acids (FFA) were examined separately. A total lipid level was determined for chicken breast tissue and fatty acid composition.


Influence of production systems was found to be more pronounced in PL composition than NLs. Corn-fed and free-range NLs had higher contents of nutritionally beneficial acids than organic and conventional. Lower polyunsaturated fatty acids in organic and free-range PLs could be beneficial for tissue stability. Principal component product space for PLs showed clear clustering related to product category. In contrast, this was not observed with FFA except in the partial least square regression product space, suggesting influences on NLs and PLs and FFA. PLs had lower contents of arachidonic acid than in earlier studies. Advantages were observed in lipid fractionation using advanced sorbent extraction matrices.



Jahan, K., & Paterson, A. (2007). Lipid composition of retailed organic, free-range and conventional chicken breasts. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 42(3), 251-262. Available on-line at: