Effect of supplementing feed with oregano and/or α-tocopheryl acetate on growth of broiler chickens and oxidative stability of meat
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Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece
Publication date: 2005-08-04
Corresponding author
N. A. Botsoglou   

Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2005;14(3):521-535
An experiment was carried out to examine the effect of supplementing feed with oregano and/or α-tocopheryl acetate on growth performance of broiler chickens and the oxidative stability of breast and thigh meat. A total of 6300 one-day old Cobb-500 chickens were randomly allocated into 7 equal groups with three subgroups of 150 males and 150 females each. One of the groups was given a basal diet containing 30 mg α-tocopheryl acetate/kg feed (negative control group), whereas the other six groups were administered the basal diet supplemented further with dehydrated oregano plants at 5 g/kg (OR5 group) and 10 g/kg (OR10 group), dehydrated oregano plants at 5 or 10 g/kg plus 170 mg/kg α-tocopheryl acetate (OR5-TOC and OR10-TOC group, respectively), α-tocopheryl acetate at 170 mg/kg (TOC group), and flavomycin at 4 mg/kg plus lasalocid at 75 mg/kg (FLA-LAS positive control group). After 42days of feeding, values of body weight, daily weight gain and feed conversion ratio showed that oregano given as single supplement at the level of 5 g/kg or in combination with α-tocopheryl acetate could serve as an alternative to the approved feed additives flavomycin and lasalocid, exerting a growth-promoting effect. Feed supplementation with oregano decreased malondialdehyde values in meat samples compared with the control, the supplementation level of 5 g/kg being more effective in retarding lipid oxidation compared with 10 g/kg. The antioxidant activity offered by oregano was, however, inferior to that exhibited by α-tocopheryl acetate supplementation, while the antioxidant activity presented by the combination of 5 g/kg oregano and α-tocopheryl acetate was higher than that presented by α-tocopheryl acetate when supplemented alone or in combination with 10 g/kg oregano. Thigh meat samples were found to be more susceptible to oxidation compared with breast meat, although the latter contained α-tocopherol at markedly lower levels.
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