The effect of the fat type on the intestinal digestibility of fatty acids, the fatty acid profiles of breast meat and abdominal fat, and the mRNA expression of lipid-related genes in broiler chickens
A group of 240-day-old Ross cockerels were used in a 4-week experiment to assess the effect of the fat type on the intestinal digestibility of fatty acids (FAs), the FA profiles of breast meat and abdominal fat, and the mRNA expression of six hepatic lipid-related genes. Experimental diets were supplemented with rapeseed oil, pork lard or palm oil at 60 g/kg. In the control diet, wheat starch was substituted for the fat source. The highest ileal digestibility of the fat and all FAs (except stearic acid) was observed in chickens fed lard. The content of fat in the breast meat of chickens was not significantly influenced by the fat supplements. The FA profiles of breast meat and abdominal fat reflected the FA composition of the diet. In the meat of chickens fed rapeseed oil, oleic acid was the predominant FA. Palmitic acid was the most abundant FA in the meat of chickens fed lard or palm oil. Oleic acid was the most abundant FA in the abdominal fat of all chickens. The highest mRNA expression of desaturases (D5-, D6- and D9-) was observed in chickens fed palm oil. The mRNA expression of hepatic FA synthase was higher in chickens fed palm oil or lard than in chickens fed rapeseed oil. The expression of HMG-CoA reductase was higher in chickens fed palm oil than in those fed rapeseed oil or lard. It can be concluded that rapeseed oil and lard are better sources of lipids than palm oil. These former two sources contain more digestible fatty acids and provide a lower concentration of SFAs in the meat and fat of chickens.
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