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Methods to enrich the eggs with antioxidant, cholesterol lowering, immunomodulating and other health promoting components

Dept. of Poultry Science, MadrasVeterinaryCollege, Chennai - 600 00


Several enriched eggs like N-3 PUFA, vitamin E, Selenium, Lutein, Antioxidant, Folic acid and Iron rich eggs are produced and available in the market. Many experiments were conducted in this department and in the field, to develop antioxidant rich, cholesterol lowering, immunomodulating and general health promoting designer eggs, by incorporating several herbs and feed supplements in hens' feed. Moreover, to boost immunoglobulin production in the egg, the hens were dewormed with Levamisole, followed by Newcastle Disease vaccination, before starting the experiments. In all the experiments, besides the control group, a Standard Functional Feed rich in N-3 PUFA, vitamin E, Organic selenium (Selplex) and Ethoxyquin were fed to hens to produce Standard Designer Eggs (SDE). Furthermore, the SDE were enriched with herbs, by incorporating them in the hen’s feed.

Out of the several herbs tried, the following herbs gave promising results. Garlic pearls, Fenugreek seeds, Bay leaves (Murrya Koeingii) or Basil leaves (Oscimum sanctum) at 5 kg/ tonne of feed or spirulina at 1 kg / tonne of functional hens' feed. The hens have to be fed antimicrobial drug free, herbal enriched functional feeds for a minimum of two weeks, to produce enriched eggs. Except the garlic SDE feed, all other feeds produced eggs with comparable sensory acceptability. All SDE fed hens and their eggs had significantly higher levels of IgY, HI, ELISA, Haematocrit, yolk pigments, vitamin E, Selenium, N-3 PUFA and serum HDLC. The yolk cholesterol and serum TG, TC, LDLC, VLDLC levels were reduced significantly in hens consuming SDE feeds, than the control; indicating the overall health promotion in hens and possible health promotion in humans consuming such herbal enriched eggs.

Source : IPSACON-2005
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