Lipid Composition of Chicken Breast Meat

Researchers found differences in the lipid composition of chicken breasts, depending on the production system – organic, corn-fed, free-range and conventional, according to a summary from Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
calendar icon 1 January 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
By: Banrie

Background and Methodology

Lipids (an oily organic compound insoluble in water) measured in 20 chicken breasts were compared based on each product’s production system: organic, corn-fed, free-range and conventional. All products were purchased at the retail level and included five produced in an organic system, four free-range, four corn-fed and seven produced in a conventional system. Neutral lipid (NL), phospholipid (PL) and free fatty acids (FFA) were examined separately. A total lipid level was determined for chicken breast tissue and fatty acid composition.


Influence of production systems was found to be more pronounced in PL composition than NLs. Corn-fed and free-range NLs had higher contents of nutritionally beneficial acids than organic and conventional. Lower polyunsaturated fatty acids in organic and free-range PLs could be beneficial for tissue stability. Principal component product space for PLs showed clear clustering related to product category. In contrast, this was not observed with FFA except in the partial least square regression product space, suggesting influences on NLs and PLs and FFA. PLs had lower contents of arachidonic acid than in earlier studies. Advantages were observed in lipid fractionation using advanced sorbent extraction matrices.


Jahan, K. & Paterson, A. 2007. Lipid composition of retailed organic, free-range and conventional chicken breasts. International Journal of Food Science and Technology, 42(3), 251-262.

January 2012

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