Title

Fatty Acid Composition of Egg Yolks

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2010

Advisor

Kate Graham, Chemistry

Abstract

The relative fatty acid composition of chicken egg yolks was determined in this study. In particular, the fatty acid composition of eggs from free-range chickens, organic chickens, conventionally-raised chickens, and chickens whose diets were enriched in omega-3 fatty acids was compared. Although comparisons between conventional eggs and omega-3 enriched eggs have been made, there is currently little data in the literature regarding the fatty acid composition of eggs from free-range chickens. Previous results from our research group indicate that in the summer, local farm eggs from both free-range chickens and chickens raised in a barn have omega-3 percentages comparable to commercial eggs enriched in omega-3 fatty acids. Both farm eggs and omega-3 enriched eggs have higher omega-3 fatty acid percentages than conventional eggs. Analysis of winter farm eggs indicates that significant differences exist between summer and winter farm eggs with regards to palmitoleic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid. However, there is no significant difference between winter farm eggs and summer farm eggs with regards to the nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids linolenic acid, EPA, or DHA. The results of this study indicate that ingestion of commercial eggs enriched in omega-3 fatty acids or summer or winter locally-raised farm eggs will be more effective at supplementing the human diet with omega-3 fatty acids than conventional eggs.

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