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Volume 58, issue 2
Arch. Anim. Breed., 58, 355–364, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-58-355-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Arch. Anim. Breed., 58, 355–364, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/aab-58-355-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Original study 05 Oct 2015

Original study | 05 Oct 2015

Dietary Lippia citriodora extract in rabbit feeding: effects on quality of carcass and meat

M. Palazzo1, F. Vizzarri1, M. Nardoia1, S. Ratti2, G. Pastorelli2, and D. Casamassima1 M. Palazzo et al.
  • 1Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Food Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy
  • 2Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, University of Milano, Milano, Italy

Abstract. Due to consumer demand, in recent years considerable attention has been focused on the use of natural compounds in animal feed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary natural extract from Lippia citriodora (commonly named "limoncina"), titrated in verbascoside, on quality, measured as oxidative stability, fatty acid composition, alpha-tocopherol and retinol content and sensory traits of rabbit meat. Forty-five New Zealand white rabbits were randomly assigned to three age- and body-weight-balanced feeding groups of 15 animals each in which a conventional pelleted diet (CON) was supplemented with 1 or 2 kg t−1 (low natural-extract (LNE) and high natural-extract (HNE) groups, respectively) of Lippia citriodora extract for 55 days. No influence on carcass characteristics and the chemical composition of meat was observed. A trend for a positive effect on alpha-tocopherol tissue content (P = 0.07) and on thiobarbituric reactive substance (TBARS) values was observed (P = 0.063) in Longissimus Lumborum muscle from the HNE group.

The fatty acid profile of the meat was affected by dietary treatment with a significant decrease (P = 0.001) in saturated fatty acids and an increase (P = 0.01) in polyunsaturated fatty acids in both treated groups compared to the CON group. The supplementation with natural extract at the highest dosage improved the tenderness and juiciness of meat, highlighting a better consistency than CON and LNE groups. In conclusion, this study shows that the natural extract used has the potential to improve rabbit meat in order to produce functional food, without altering the chemical and physical characteristics of meat.

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In recent years considerable attention has been focused on the use of natural compounds in animal feeding due to consumer demand. This study shows that the natural extract of Lippia citriodora (main compound verbascoside) has the potential to improve rabbit meat in order to produce functional food, without altering the chemical and physical characteristics of meat.
In recent years considerable attention has been focused on the use of natural compounds in...
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