The influence of hen age on fatty acid composition of commercial eggs

Tina Lešić1, Greta Krešić2, L. Cvetnić3, M. Petrović4, Jelka Pleadin1*


1Croatian Veterinary Institute, Laboratory for Analytical Chemistry, Savska Cesta 143, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of Rijeka, Department of Food and Nutrition, Primorska 42, 51410 Opatija, Croatia
Croatian Veterinary Institute, Laboratory for Mastitis and Raw Milk Quality, Savska Cesta 143, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Andrija Štampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, Department of Environmental Protection and Health Ecology, Mirogojska Cesta 16, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

original scientific paper
DOI: 10.17508/CJFST.2017.9.2.12


 The aim of this study was to investigate the nutritional composition of commercial eggs from Lohman Brown hens through fat and fatty acid content analysis, as well as to evaluate the effect of hen age on the above parameters. Egg samples (n=108) were collected every two weeks from 21- to 55- week old hens during the 2015/2016 autumn/winter period. The results revealed significant differences in fatty acid composition dependent on hen age (p < 0.05). When comparing eggs from the youngest, against those from the oldest hens, total saturated fatty acids (SFA) were found to be statistically significantly higher in the youngest hens (p < 0.05), whereas individual SFA shares did not statistically significantly differ between the two (p > 0.05). The total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) content was statistically significantly higher in eggs laid by 55- week old hens as compared to those laid by 21- week old hens. The n-6/n-3 and PUFA/SFA ratios were more favourable in the elder hens. In general, the results revealed hen ageing-based variations in fatty acid composition of their eggs, in particular in the representation of linoleic (LA), alpha-linolenic (ALA) and arachidonic acid (AA), for which statistically significant hen age-based differences were found.

Keywords: diet, eggs, lipids, fatty acid composition, hen age