DDGS in Feed Could Affect Meat Fatty Acid Content

The production of Dried Distillers' Grains with Solubles (DDGS) has increased dramatically in the US recently because of the focus of the country on the production of ethanol, writes ThePoultrySite senior editor, Chris Harris.
calendar icon 4 February 2009
clock icon 5 minute read

DDGS production is just going to keep on increasing as ethanol production from corn increases, according to R.E. Loar II from Mississippi State University in a presentation to the International Poultry Science Forum in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The rise in the cost of corn for feed, which is being pushed up by the biofuels industry and its desire for more and more corn for ethanol, means that the by-product from the ethanol industry, DDGS, is becoming more readily available to integrators.

As ethanol pushes feed corn prices up a biofuel by-product distillers' dried grains with solubles can be substituted in poultry feed.
However, he told the Forum that while some research has been carried out into the effects of DDGS on pig meat quality, little work has been conducted on the effects on broiler meat.

Mr Loar said that for pigs it had been shown that there were material effects on the meat quality when DDGS was 20 per cent of the feed, but little or no effect was seen when fed at an inclusion level of 10 per cent.

He said that recently, associated feed costs have reached record highs due to recent increases in ingredients used in diet manufacturing for broilers. As a result, there has been a gradual shift towards the use of alternative feedstuffs such as DDGS.

The research carried out by the University of Mississippi evaluated the effects of feeding DDGS on meat quality and the consumer acceptability of broiler breast meat.

The study looked at the meat colour and how the pH of the meat changed with the addition of DDGS to the diet. It also looked at tenderness and shear force of the meat and two consumer panels of between 35 and 50 people tested it for flavour, taste texture and palatability. Finally, the study also looked at the effects the DDGS had on the fatty acid content of the broiler breast meat.

Mr Loar said that the birds, Ross × Ross 708 males, were grown on diets that contained either zero or eight per cent DDGS.

At 42 days old, the birds were processed and boneless skinless breast meat and thighs were collected for evaluation from birds within each treatment group.

Fatty acid profile and lipid peroxidation (TBARS) tests were performed on the thigh meat while the breast meat samples were evaluated for pH, colour (CIE L*, a*, b*), cooking loss, shear force and taste panel data.

Mr Loar said that there were no differences found in breast meat between treatments between the control birds and those fed the DDGS with regard to pH, cooking loss, shear force, breast meat colour and consumer acceptability of texture.

He added that as far as flavour and overall acceptability were concerned, consumers preferred the control treatment over the DDGS treatment.

He said the meat from the two test samples was also equal in contents of calcium, phosphorus and amino acids.

However, in the sensory test, consumers could not distinguish between the DDGS and control treatments.

"The consumer panels rated the control higher than the birds fed the DDGS, but there was not that large a difference," said Mr Loar.

"The use of eight per cent DDGS had limited effect on the thigh and breast meat quality, despite the consumer panels feeling there was a slight difference in acceptability."

However, he added that the DDGS treatment showed some differences in fatty acid composition of the thigh when compared to the control.

With higher percentages of linoleic and total polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), it is possible that the DDGS treatment may be more susceptible to oxidation. He said that the control had more saturated fatty acids and there was a greater amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the DDGS-fed birds.

Mr Loar added that overall, the inclusion of eight per cent DDGS in the diet did not adversely affect the resulting broiler meat, and both treatments resulted in high quality breast and thigh meat. However, he added that there was a need for more research into the changes in the fatty acid content of the meat from the birds fed DDGS.
February 2009
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