Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research

Journal of Oceanography and Marine Research
Open Access

ISSN: 2572-3103

+44 1300 500008


The Seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum as a Potential Functional Ingredient in Chicken Nutrition

Eleftherios Bonos, Anastasios Kargopoulos, Ioannis Nikolakakis, Panagiota Florou-Paneri and Efterpi Christaki

The marine environment is a source of many valuable food and feed ingredients such as seaweeds or macroalgae. In recent years, consumers’ demands have increased the research on the production of functional foods, especially through the inclusion of bioactive ingredients in the animal feeds. One candidate ingredient is Ascophyllum nodosum, brown seaweed, containing polysaccharides, proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, pigments and antioxidants. Aim of this study was to examine the effects of dietary A. nodosum supplementation on broiler chicken performance parameters, meat fatty acid composition and meat resistance to oxidation during refrigerated storage. One hundred sixty 1-day-old broiler chickens were randomly assigned to four treatment groups with four replications of ten birds each. Birds were housed in floor pens with litter and were offered appropriate commercial diets with the addition of 0 g/ kg (Control), 5 g/kg (Asc-5), 10 g/kg (Asc-10) or 20 g/kg (Asc-20) dried A. nodosum. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in the average body weight, feed consumption and feed conversion ratio of the birds between the four treatment groups until the end of the experiment (42 of age). In addition, feed consumption and feed conversion ratio did not differ (P > 0.05) between the four groups. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were noted for total saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in the breast or the thigh meat, although some individual polyunsaturated fatty acids were modified. Lipid oxidation determined as thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS) on air packed skinless breast and thigh samples stored at 4°C for 5 days, did not differ (P > 0.05) between the four groups. Dietary A. nodosum could be utilized in chicken diets up to 2%, without any adverse effects on performance, meat fatty acid profile and lipid oxidation. Additional investigation is needed in order to evaluate the possible benefits of A. nodosum as a potential functional ingredient in chicken nutrition.