BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease has had an unquestioned status of the number one cause of death in the US since 1921. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) have cardio-protective benefits. However, egg is typically a poor source of ω-3 PUFAs and, in general, the American diet is low in these cardio-protective fatty acids. Novel, nutritionally enhanced egg products were developed by substituting yolk with ω-3 PUFA-rich flaxseed, menhaden, algae, or krill oil. Experimental egg products matched composition of hen egg (whole egg). The experimental egg products, mixed whole egg, and a liquid egg product (Egg Beaters™) were microwave-cooked and compared.
RESULTS: Although fat, protein, and moisture contents of experimental egg products matched (P > 0.05) mixed whole egg, experimental egg products had more (P < 0.05) ω-3 PUFAs, lower (P < 0.05) ω-6/ω-3 ratio, and depending on oil added, a higher (P < 0.05) unsaturated/saturated fatty acids ratio compared to mixed whole egg. Triglycerides were the main lipid class in all experimental egg products except those developed with krill oil, which had even more phospholipids than mixed whole egg. Analysis of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances showed that lipid oxidation of experimental egg products was lower (P < 0.05) or similar (P > 0.05) to mixed whole egg, except for experimental egg products with krill oil. However, peroxide value showed that all egg samples had minimal oxidation. Experimental egg products developed with menhaden or flaxseed oil had the highest (P < 0.05) concentration of the antioxidant, ethyoxquin compared to all other egg samples. However, experimental egg products with krill oil likely contained a natural antioxidant, astaxanthin.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated an alternative approach to developing novel, nutraceutical egg products. Instead of dietary modification of chicken feed, yolk substitution with ω-3 PUFAs oils resulted in enhancement of ω-3 PUFAs beyond levels possible to achieve by modifying chicken feed. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry