Effects of linseed oil (LO) supplementation on the fat content and fatty acid profile of breast meat, and the expression of three genes in the liver, breast muscle and fat tissues of commercial 154-day-old hybrid male turkeys were investigated.
The animals in the control group were fed a commercially available feed and received no LO supplementation (n=70), whereas animals in the LO group (n=70) were fed the same basic diet supplemented with LO (day 15-21: 0.5%; day 22-112: 1%). The effect of dietary LO supplementation on fatty acid composition of breast muscle was examined by gas chromatography, and the expression of fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2), peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) genes was analysed by means of quantitative reverse transcription PCR.
The LO supplementation affected the fatty acid composition of breast muscle. Hepatic FADS2 levels were considerably lower (p<0.001), while adipose tissue expression was higher (p<0.05) in the control compared to the LO group. The PPARγ expression was lower (p<0.05), whereas IGF1 was higher (p0.05) differences in FADS2, PPARγ and IGF1 gene expressions of breast muscle; however, omega-6/omega-3 ratio of breast muscle substantially decreased (p<0.001) in the LO group compared to control.
Fatty acid composition of breast meat was positively influenced by LO supplementation without deterioration of fattening parameters. Remarkably, increased FADS2 expression in the liver of LO supplemented animals was associated with a significantly decreased omega-6/omega-3 ratio, providing a potentially healthier meat product for human consumption. Increased PPARγ expression in fat tissue of the LO group was not associated with fat content of muscle, whereas a decreased IGF1 expression in fat tissue was associated with a trend of decreasing fat content in muscle of the experimental LO group.