Development of omega-3 enriched egg using fish-oil based fowl feed supplement

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Nutritional content of egg can be manipulated by altering hen feed. Developing an economical fowl feed supplement to produce omega-3 enriched egg from purified fish oil, produced using a proprietary method, leads to a value-added product. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of feeding an omega-3 enriched fowl feed supplement on the concentration and/or levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and omega-3 content in eggs obtained thereafter. Thirty BV-380 strain hens were divided into 5 groups and fed varying doses of the omega-3 supplement along with their regular feed. Eggs collected over 180 days were analyzed for EPA, DHA, and omega-3 content. Results showed that as the supplement dose increased, so did the EPA, DHA, and omega-3 concentrations in the eggs, with significant differences compared to the control group. Specifically, after 180 days, the EPA, DHA, and omega-3 content in eggs ranged from 11.4 to 28.71 mg/100 g, 116.41 to 206.62 mg/100 g, and 172.03 to 327.78 mg/100 g, respectively, depending on the supplement dose. This research demonstrates the feasibility of enhancing the nutritional value of eggs through dietary manipulation, offering a practical method for producing omega-3 enriched eggs.

DESCRIPTION OF PROBLEM

Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s), also known as ω−3 or n−3 fatty acids, are one of the major classes of polyunsaturated fatty acids having potential health benefits. The 3 major omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA and linoleic acid are considered essential fatty acids and humans are unable to synthesize them. They must be obtained from the diet (Jones and Papamandjaris, 2012). Conversion of ALA into EPA and then to DHA is very limited (Coates et al., 2010). Alpha-linolenic acid is present in plant oils, such as flaxseed, soybean, etc. Marine algae and phytoplankton are rich sources of omega-3s. Omega-3 gets accumulated in the tissues of fish when they consume those algae. The majority of scientific research focuses on EPA and DHA (Coates et al., 2010). Even though these fatty acids are available in fish, the quantity is very low. Consuming EPA and DHA directly from foods and/or dietary supplements is the only practical way to increase levels of these fatty acids in the body.

The modern diet is deficient in omega-3 fatty acids; hence, worldwide efforts, to bring back omega-3 in food chain, are going on. The real challenge was to offer the consumers a product which fit into their life style and increase their acceptability and make omega-3 fatty acids a part of their daily wellness strategy. Among a variety of omega-3-fortified food products, one of the most popular and the innovative functional food is omega-3-enriched egg. As birds are monogastric, the fatty acid composition of bird’s diet usually reflects the fatty acid composition of eggs. Obviously, by changing the hens’ diet, the fatty acid profile in the eggs can be modified. The inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids in poultry products was achievable by feeding omega-3 rich diets to birds (Hegde et al., 2016).

Eggs are one of the most widely consumed and inexpensive nutritional food sources. They are an essential part of the human diet, rich in fat, protein and has a balanced distribution of vitamins and minerals. Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 have been detected at trace amount in farm chicken eggs. Researchers have tried to manipulate the nutritional content of the eggs by altering the hen feed (Kassis et al., 2010).

Omega-3 supplements derived from fish oil have been widely used for a long time. They are abundant in EPA and DHA. Due to its unfavorable aroma and taste, fish oil-based supplements are predominantly marketed and consumed in soft gel capsules. Feeding purified fish oil to livestock is not economical. Raw fish oil goes through multiple purification processes before reaching the final commercial scale that can be used for human consumption. It is desirable to develop a fowl feed supplement from purified and enriched fish oil, which has been developed through a proprietary method, to produce omega-3 enriched eggs. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of feeding an omega-3 enriched feed supplement for poultry at different doses on the concentration and/or level of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and omega-3 content of eggs obtained thereafter.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Birds and Housing

In this study, laying hens (BV-380) were used. BV-380 is the species which provides the maximum number of eggs and is the popular commercial strain commonly used in India. The hens were procured from Rose Poultry Farm, Kalady, Kerala. They were housed in commercially available, pre-fabricated cages specifically designed for laying hens. Each cage accommodated 2 hens and was structured in a linear configuration, with 3 cages per group. The cages had a width of 140 cm and a length of 35 cm, providing ample space for the hens. The height of the cage allotted for the hens was 32 cm, while the height from the egg channel was 37 cm. The cages were positioned 5 feet above ground level within the shed. The poultry shed measured 35 meters in length, 8 meters in width, and 3 meters in height. The hens were provided with aqua-guard filtered water.

The study was conducted at Small Animals Breeding and Research Center, Arjuna Natural Ltd. Kerala (Registration No. 1524/PO/RcBi/S/11/CPCSEA). The experiments on hens were conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiment on Animals and the study was approved by the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee of Arjuna Natural Pvt. Ltd. (IAEC Approval No.: ANEL/IAEC/2018-II/1812041 IAEC Approval date: 19th Dec 2018).

For development of omega-3 enriched eggs, hens were fed with standard normal feed (layer feed) and supplemented with omega-3 (known as OmegaFes). OmegaFes was developed by Arjuna Natural Pvt. Ltd as part of DBT project entitled “Process validation and development of a highly stabilized omega-3 fatty acids in liquid matrix, value addition of its by product, preclinical and clinical evaluation of safety and bioavailability for use in pediatric and general population” and patent has been granted in India (Patent No. 490795, Dec 28, 2023). Standard normal feed was purchased from the market.

Fowl Feed Supplement

The fowl feed omega-3 supplement is made from fish oil. The fish oil obtained from the fishmeal was subjected to various purification and enrichment process. The purified and fractionated fish oil, developed through a proprietary method, was used as a raw material for the fowl feed supplement composition. Feed supplement was prepared by mixing a food-grade thickener, food-grade filler and the purified fish oil. This supplement was mixed with standard poultry feed in the desired ratio.

Study Groups

The study was carried out on 30 hens of BV-380 strain with the initial age of 19 to 20 wk weighing 800 to 1,100 g and were housed under similar conditions. On the basis of body weight the birds were grouped into 5 groups (Group I to Group V) comprising of 6 hens in each group. The feeding pattern per day was as follows. Group I (Control group) – Normal feed of 100 g, Group II – Normal feed 95 g + 5 g omega-3 supplement, Group III – Normal feed 90 g + 10 g omega-3 supplement, Group IV – Normal feed 85 g + 15 g omega-3 supplement and Group V – Normal feed 80 g + 20 g omega-3 supplement. The hens were fed on the finisher diet formulation throughout the study period (Table 1.)

Table 1. Dietary composition.

Ingredients (g/kg as fed basis) Group I (Control) Group II Group III Group IV Group V
Corn 580.00 583.00 583.00 583.00 583.50
Soybean meal 269.00 257.00 236.00 209.50 181.30
OmegaFes % 0.00 5.00 10.00 15.00 20.00
Wheat pollard 63.74 63.24 67.54 76.44 86.44
Crude palm oil 34.00 32.00 29.10 26.60 24.10
Fish meal 55% 10.00 0.50 0.00 0.00 0.00
L-Lysine 2.50 1.50 1.50 1.50 1.50
DL-Methionine 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
Dicalcium phosphate 21 16.46 18.16 18.26 18.36 18.56
Calcium carbonate 17.40 17.40 17.40 17.40 17.40
Choline chloride 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60
Salt 2.60 2.90 2.90 2.90 2.90
Mineral premix 1 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
Vitamin premix 2 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60 0.60
Antoixidant 3 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10
Total 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000
Calculated analyses (% as fed)
Metabolizable energy (MJ/kg) 13.01 13.03 13.03 13.03 13.02
Protein 17.12 17.17 17.16 17.13 17.15
Fat 7.96 7.70 6.76 7.29 7.65
Fiber 3.58 3.01 2.69 2.47 2.88
Calcium carbonate 1.05 1.04 1.04 1.05 1.05
Total Phosphorous 0.80 0.74 0.73 0.73 0.75
Available Phosphorous 0.47 0.45 0.45 0.46 0.46
1

Mineral premix contains Fe 100 mg, Mn 110 mg, Cu 20 mg, Zn 100 mg, I 2 mg, Se 0.2 mg, Co 0.6 mg.

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Vitamin premix contains retinol 2 mg, cholicalciferol 0.03 mg, α-tocopherol 0.02mg, menadione 1.33 mg, cobalamin 0.03 mg, thiamine 0.83 mg, riboflavin 2 mg, folic acid 0.33 mg, biotin 0.03 mg, panthothenic riboflavin 2 mg, folic acid 0.33 mg, biotin 0.03 mg, panthothenic acid 3.75 mg, niacin 23.3 mg, pyridoxine 1.33 mg.

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Antioxidant contains butylatedhydroxyanisol.

Sampling of Eggs

The study commenced once all hens began laying eggs. Eggs were systematically collected from 6 hens within each group (Group I to Group V). Each egg was meticulously labelled to ensure accurate tracking and identification. Eggs laid on the 15th, 20th, 30th, 45th, 60th, 75th, 90th, 105th, 120th, 135th, 150th, and 180th day following the initiation of the omega-3 supplement feed were specifically targeted for collection and analysis. These eggs, originating from the 6 hens within each of the 5 groups, underwent thorough analysis to determine their EPA, DHA, and omega-3 content. This systematic sampling regimen provided a detailed insight into the impact of omega-3 supplementation on the nutritional composition of the eggs throughout the study period.

Analysis of EPA, DHA and Omega- 3 Fatty Acid in Egg Samples

Lipid Extraction From Egg Yolk

Upon receiving egg samples from each group, they were meticulously labelled separately, and the weight of each egg was recorded. Careful attention was paid to separate the egg yolk from each egg, ensuring removal of the membrane while discarding the albumin part and shell. Approximately 15 g of egg yolk from each sample was weighed into a conical flask and thoroughly mixed using a magnetic stirrer. Next, a 2:1 Chloroform:methanol mixture, totaling 75 mL, was added to the egg yolk in the conical flask, maintaining a yolk to solvent ratio of 1:15. The mixture was stirred at room temperature for 1 h. Afterward, the solution was filtered in a conical flask, and the residue underwent another round of extraction with the Chloroform:methanol mixture. This process was repeated once more. The 3 extracts were pooled into a conical flask, and the total volume was measured. The combined solution was then transferred into a separating funnel, where 20% water was added and thoroughly shaken before being left for separation. The Chloroform layer, containing the lipid content, was carefully separated and transferred into a flat-bottom flask. Anhydrous sodium sulfate was added to the flask. The filtrate was concentrated and dried under vacuum to obtain the lipid content. The weight of the lipid was recorded to calculate the yield of lipid content. This lipid extract underwent esterification to facilitate the subsequent analysis of EPA, DHA, and Omega-3 using the Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector (GC FID) Method (Washburn and Nix, 1974).

Determination of EPA, DHA and Omega-3

Gas chromatograph equipped with FID detector was used to determine the content of EPA, DHA and omega- 3 fatty acid in egg lipid oil. The chromatographic column utilized was a capillary column (BPX 070) with dimensions of 25 m in length, 0.22 mm in diameter, and a 0.25 µ film. Nitrogen served as the carrier gas with a flow rate of 0.1 mL/min. The temperature of injector and detector were maintained at 260°C. The split ratio was set at 1:100. The column temperature was programmed for 150°C for 1 min and increased at a rate of 7°C/ min till 250°C and maintained at 250°C for 10 min.

A 10% solution of methyl esters of alpha linolenic acid in iso-octane was prepared as the internal standard. For standard preparation, 250 mg of standard fish oil (methyl ester) was accurately weighed into a 25 mL standard flask. Subsequently, 1 mL of internal standard solution was added, and the volume was made up to 25 mL with iso-octane. A volume of 2 µL of this prepared solution was then injected for analysis.

For sample preparation, 0.25 g of the crude lipid/fat was weighed into a 100 ml RB flask, to which 1 mL of internal standard solution was added. Following this, 1.5 mL of 0.5 N methanolic NaOH was added, and the mixture was placed in a boiling water bath at 100°C for 5 min. After cooling, 2 mL of BF3 –Methanol solution was added, and the mixture was further heated at 100°C for 30 min. The sample was then cooled to 30 to 40°C, and 5 mL of iso-octane was added and vigorously shaken for 30 s. Subsequently, 5 mL of saturated NaCl solution was added and shaken vigorously. The sample was allowed to cool to room temperature, and the iso-octane layer was carefully separated. The aqueous layer was subjected to another extraction with iso-octane. The iso-octane layer was collected, dried and the residue was made up to a volume of 25 mL with iso-octane. A volume of 2 µL of sample was then injected into the GC for analysis.

Response factors (Rf values) of EPA and DHA were determined, and the percentage of EPA, DHA and omega-3 components were calculated accordingly. The analysis of GC mass percentages followed the procedure outlined in the European Pharmacopoeia Monograph 2.4.29, composition of fatty acids in oils rich in omega-3-acids.

Statistical Analysis

A repeated measures Analysis of Variance was conducted to identify the difference between different treatment groups with time as the repeated measures using the lme4 package in R, version 4.3.1. A Tukey’s post hoc comparison analysis supplemented with a compact letter display using the package multcompView was conducted to display the pair-wise comparison in detail. All statistical analysis was conducted at 95% level of significance.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Eggs were collected on 15th, 20th, 30th, 45th, 60th, 75th, 90th, 105th, 120th, 135th, 150th and 180th day after starting the fish oil-based omega-3 supplement feed and the analysis of egg for EPA, DHA and omega-3 content were carried out. Time course curves of EPA, DHA and Omega-3 content of egg obtained after continuous supplementation of Omega-3 at different levels (5, 10, 15, 20 g per day) for 180 d in comparison with standard feed is represented in Tables 2 to 4.

Table 2. Concentration of DHA in eggs collected at different supplementation period from hens fed with different doses of fish oil-based omega-3 supplement (OmegaFes) and standard feed.

Day Group I Group II Group III Group IV Group V Empty Cell
Empty Cell Control group 5 g OmegaFes 10 g OmegaFes 15 g OmegaFes 20 g OmegaFes p-value
D 15 26.67 ± 0.88a 70.48 ± 2.24b 69.91 ± 2.42b 90.53 ± 5.3c 111.96 ± 4.41d <0.001
D 20 33.57 ± 2.04a 69.8 ± 3.92b 79.16 ± 2.34b 106.04 ± 0.89c 126.12 ± 3.6d <0.001
D 30 34.94 ± 1.64a 72.49 ± 5.5b 79.5 ± 3.79b 108.67 ± 1.86c 146.98 ± 1.62d <0.001
D 45 40.64 ± 1.4a 77.4 ± 3.71b 93.23 ± 6.27bc 110.16 ± 4.78c 160.16 ± 3.17d <0.001
D 60 38.27 ± 0.43a 81.26 ± 1.58b 114.64 ± 1.94c 128.17 ± 2.94d 179.28 ± 5.09e <0.001
D 75 31.99 ± 1.83a 85.88 ± 1.87b 130.4 ± 3.82c 138.63 ± 1.98c 176.91 ± 2.53d <0.001
D 90 30.2 ± 2.18a 93.45 ± 7.01b 136.25 ± 3.51c 146.93 ± 3.19c 191.39 ± 3.31d <0.001
D 105 26.74 ± 1.81a 94.44 ± 8.21b 148.24 ± 6.71c 156.68 ± 10.3c 195.8 ± 6.94d <0.001
D 120 22.96 ± 0.64a 104.4 ± 6.87b 139.84 ± 5.16c 163.67 ± 11.22c 194.1 ± 2.87d <0.001
D 135 27.84 ± 2.16a 107.86 ± 3.32b 141.57 ± 6.57c 171.85 ± 7.67d 200.72 ± 10.74e <0.001
D 150 21.99 ± 0.53a 112.67 ± 5.37b 141.88 ± 5.42c 170.88 ± 8.94d 202.44 ± 3.8e <0.001
D 180 23.47 ± 0.77a 116.41 ± 5.68b 140.28 ± 5.93c 176.12 ± 7.94d 206.62 ± 3.71e <0.001
a,b,c,d,e

Means ± SD with differing letters indicated significant differences at P < 0.05.

p-value represents the variability between groups at different time period.

n = 6 eggs per group for each timepoint.

EPA, DHA and Omega-3 content of eggs obtained from hen fed daily with 5 to 20 g of omega-3 supplement is statistically significant when compared with eggs obtained with standard feed. Control eggs (Group I) contained on average 0.69 mg and 0.72 mg of EPA per 100 g of egg after 15 and 180 d respectively and the levels remained constant throughout 180 d of feeding standard diet (P = 0.867) (Table 2). After 60 d of 5, 10, 15 and 20 g of administering fish oil-based omega-3 supplementation in different groups, EPA and DHA content were statistically different between all groups. Supplementation of omega-3 at 5, 10, 15 and 20 g for 180 d showed an increase in EPA content of 15.83, 20.99, 23.01 and 39.88 times and an increase in DHA content of 4.96, 5.98, 7.5 and 8.8 times when compared with control group (Table 3). After 45 d of Omega-3 supplementation in different groups, Omega- 3 content in eggs were statistically different between all groups. Supplementation of omega-3 at 5, 10, 15, and 20 g for 180 d showed an increase in Omega- 3 content of 6.17, 7.61, 9.15, and 11.75 times when compared with control group (Table 4). Supplemental feeding of birds with omega-3 resulted in improved bird health and increased omega-3 content in eggs and meat.

Table 3. Concentration of EPA in eggs collected at different supplementation period from hens fed with different doses of fish oil based omega-3 supplement (OmegaFes) and standard feed.

Day Group I Group II Group III Group IV Group V Empty Cell
Empty Cell Control group 5 g OmegaFes 10 g OmegaFes 15 g OmegaFes 20 g OmegaFes p-value
D 15 0.69 ± 0.01a 1.69 ± 0.36a 3.05 ± 0.18a 5.96 ± 1.11b 7.8 ± 0.86b <0.001
D 20 0.71 ± 0.02a 3.79 ± 0.41bc 3.21 ± 0.19c 3.21 ± 0.3c 4.91 ± 0.41b <0.001
D 30 0.63 ± 0.13a 3.92 ± 0.43b 6.74 ± 0.63c 3.3 ± 0.33b 5.72 ± 0.46c <0.001
D 45 0.8 ± 0.12a 3.02 ± 0.54a 7.86 ± 0.78b 7.53 ± 1.12b 7.87 ± 0.79b <0.001
D 60 0.74 ± 0.01a 3.35 ± 0.26b 6.81 ± 0.39c 10.11 ± 0.34d 13.13 ± 0.4e <0.001
D 75 0.36 ± 0.16a 3.63 ± 0.82a 10.69 ± 1.25b 13.4 ± 0.28bc 15.75 ± 1.21c <0.001
D 90 0.34 ± 0.15a 5.37 ± 0.58b 9.14 ± 0.25c 9.67 ± 0.42c 16.19 ± 1.07d <0.001
D 105 0.56 ± 0.11a 5.41 ± 0.58b 13.88 ± 0.72c 15.17 ± 1.41c 25.95 ± 1.93d <0.001
D 120 0.71 ± 0.19a 6.02 ± 0.64b 15.04 ± 1.17c 15.92 ± 1.66c 26.96 ± 0.52d <0.001
D 135 0.58 ± 0.12a 10.62 ± 0.7b 13.24 ± 0.67b 16.18 ± 0.72b 26.96 ± 3.07c <0.001
D 150 0.69 ± 0.19a 11.02 ± 0.61b 15.25 ± 1.14c 16.02 ± 0.54c 28.12 ± 0.59d <0.001
D 180 0.72 ± 0.19a 11.4 ± 0.69b 15.11 ± 1.26c 16.57 ± 0.71c 28.71 ± 0.7d <0.001
a,b,c,d

Means ± SD with differing letters indicated significant differences at P < 0.05.

p-value represents the variability between groups at different time period.

n = 6 eggs per group for each timepoint.

Table 4. Concentration of Omega-3 in eggs collected at different supplementation period from hens fed with different doses of fish oil based omega-3 supplement (OmegaFes) and standard feed.

Empty Cell Group I Group II Group III Group IV Group V Empty Cell
Day Control group 5 g OmegaFes 10 g OmegaFes 15 g OmegaFes 20 g OmegaFes p-value
D 15 31.84 ± 1.35a 85.42 ± 2.41b 90.93 ± 3.07b 125.38 ± 5.84c 169.57 ± 2.71d <0.001
D 20 39.5 ± 1.87 a 90.74 ± 4.35 b 101.55 ± 2.58 b 136.92 ± 1.05 c 161.45 ± 4.65 d <0.001
D 30 41.08 ± 1.58 a 94.01 ± 5.71 b 106.74 ± 4.48 b 140.31 ± 2.29 c 188.16 ± 2.09 d <0.001
D 45 47.78 ± 1.88a 94.84 ± 4.61b 124.62 ± 5.92c 146.59 ± 7.1d 211.92 ± 4.87e <0.001
D 60 46 ± 0.64a 111.97 ± 2.05b 156.02 ± 2.9c 182.1 ± 2.57d 254.89 ± 8.11e <0.001
D 75 37.79 ± 2.17a 107 ± 4.88b 176.77 ± 3.75c 193.81 ± 2.09d 259.33 ± 5.68e <0.001
D 90 34.9 ± 1.89a 124.7 ± 8.66b 174.79 ± 2.42c 198.87 ± 2.07d 270.94 ± 4.51e <0.001
D 105 32.23 ± 2.11a 126.13 ± 10.45b 196.11 ± 5.22c 226.21 ± 12.22c 298.56 ± 4.43d <0.001
D 120 27.29 ± 0.67a 139.63 ± 9.07b 211.48 ± 8.5c 236.54 ± 14.42c 307.9 ± 2.03d <0.001
D 135 33.55 ± 2.56a 159.62 ± 4.72b 187.34 ± 5.82b 248.94 ± 5.17c 306.02 ± 12.7d <0.001
D 150 26.14 ± 0.51a 166.45 ± 6.4b 214.52 ± 8.65c 247.16 ± 5.98d 321.08 ± 3.47e <0.001
D 180 27.89 ± 0.77a 172.03 ± 6.94b 212.17 ± 9.73c 255.07 ± 4.96d 327.78 ± 4.28e <0.001
a,b,c,d,e

Means ± SD with differing letters indicated significant differences at P < 0.05.

p-value represents the variability between groups at different time period.

n = 6 eggs per group for each timepoint.

People are aware of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and is increasing day by day. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids play important roles in the body as components of the phospholipids that form the structures of cell membranes (Institute of Medicine, 2005). DHA, in particular, is especially high in the retina, brain, and sperm (Coates et al., 2010) (Institute of Medicine, 2005) (SanGiovanni and Chew, 2005).

Dietary manipulation of the omega-3 content of hens’ diets has resulted in the production of eggs containing omega-3 fatty acids (Ferrier et al., 1995). Hen acted as a sort of regulator or filter as the yolk composition of egg is closely linked to the type of lipid consumed by the hen and egg acts as perfect model of dietary transfer. Increasing the omega-3 fatty acid content of poultry products augment the omega-3 consumption in humans. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA plays an important role in development of brain and cognitive functions. Dietary omega-3 fatty acids are very important during development and ageing to ensure brain structure and functions. Consumption of omega-3 enriched eggs by humans had beneficial effects, especially on lipid parameters. Omega-3 fatty acids enriched eggs reduces plasma triglycerides and alters blood lipid profile of patients with hypercholesterolemia (Bourre, 2005).

Vision and hearing are dependent on the nature of dietary fatty acids. DHA is involved in many aspects of vision, including photoreceptors, neurotransmission, rhodopsin activation, cone and rod development, neuronal synapses, and cerebral structural maturation (Uauy et al., 2001). During the ageing process, the concentrations of DHA-rich phospholipids in the retina diminish. Hearing is affected by lack of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically the cerebral response to auditory stimuli. This deficiency also causes more accelerated or premature ageing of auditory nerve system to age prematurely or more quickly. Reduced omega-3 fatty acid concentrations have been linked to mood disorders. Plasma concentration has dropped. Decreased level of plasma DHA is linked to dementia and/or cognitive impairment, especially Alzheimer’s disease (Bourre, 2004). Carrie et al. (2002) reported that a DHA-rich phospholipid supplement could improve behaviour, learning and visual function of control elderly mice and mice with omega-3 fatty acid deficiency (Carrié et al., 2002).

The brain’s ability to synthesize omega-3 fatty acids is limited, particularly in early life stage. DHA is primarily obtained through the uteroplacental circulation during pregnancy and through breast milk during nursing. Many pregnant women in current western diets do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids throughout pregnancy and lactation, which is thought to be the cause of DHA deficiency in developing brains of newborns and the rising occurrence of neurological problems (Wu et al., 2017). Omega-3 supplementation is necessary during childhood, pregnancy, lactation period and ageing. The study findings could pave the way for dietary DHA supplementation through omega-3 enriched egg which could support brain development and function. Omega-3 enriched eggs are best for children as well as people who are vegetarians taking eggs. Egg extracts enriched in omega-3 have been used to prepare special milk formulas (Ramírez et al., 2001).

The omega-3 supplement used in the study was economically viable, as the fish oil produced by the purification and enrichment process through a proprietary method was used to create the composition. This has opened the possibility to develop “omega-3 enriched eggs” with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids for the health-conscious consumer at premium prices. This will be beneficial to children, adults as well as vegetarians who eat eggs. This study leads to produce value-added eggs which will be a substitute for Omega-3 fatty acids in capsule or syrup or emulsion form and will be definitely helpful to human beings.

Source: Science Direct