Background and Methodology
Chicken has been reported to be relatively abundant in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), including the key n-3 fatty acids in comparison to other meats. However, PUFA content (membrane phospholipids) influences lipid oxidation and therefore affects color, flavor, texture and nutritional value and quality during sub-ambient storage. Antioxidants delay or prevent lipid oxidation in meat. The antioxidant supplementation of feed is an efficient method for increasing oxidative stability. Kishowar et al. (2004) investigated the variability in lipid composition, antioxidant content and lipid oxidation between breast muscles from different sources and clarified the relationships between these components.
The study quantified antioxidants, estimated lipid oxidation during post purchase sub-ambient storage, profiled fatty acid of different chicken meats from alternative production regimes, conventional (chilled and frozen), organic and free range and soft modelled the relationships between antioxidants and lipid components.
The two organic products were significantly different and less nutritionally desirable in lipid composition than the two standard chickens. Dietary supplementation with α-tocopherol (AT) should be considered by organic producers wishing to produce wholesome product.
Kishowar, J., Paterson, A., & Spickett, C. M. (2004). Fatty acid composition, antioxidants and lipid oxidation in chicken breast from different production regimes. International Journal of Food Science and Technology 39:443-453.