Another omega 3 fatty acid blog for you to start off the new year. Researchers have been giving hens supplements of fish oil, chia seeds and linseed seed (or flax for our friends across the pond) to try and increase the omega 3 fatty acid levels in the eggs, and it works…
According to the paper published in the Journal of Food Science this is not the first time such research has been undertaken. But in previous work involving fish oil and linseed supplementation the eggs also took on an off taste.
Mindful of this, the researchers used low doses of fish oil and also tested chia seeds, a seed that like linseed is rich in omega 3 fatty acids (good omega) while being low in omega 6 fatty acids (bad omega).
They found that although the best tasting eggs were those from the hens fed the control diet, it was only when linseed was 30% and chia seed 40% of the overall diet that the eggs became significantly less tasty. The eggs from hens supplemented with fish oil did not score badly on the taste test but low amounts were used based on previous findings that it taints the taste of the eggs.
The researchers conclude that chia seeds would be the best to use for supplementation as both linseed and chia increased the omega 3 fatty acid content of the eggs but the hens were not so happy on the linseed supplemented diet.
Chia, in case you are wondering is from the mint family and already used widely in cereal bars, smoothies and sprinkled on yogurt.