Effect of dietary antioxidant supplementation on rabbit performance, meat quality and oxidative stability of muscles

P. Minardi, A.L. Mordenti, A. Badiani, M. Pirini, F. Trombetti, S. Albonetti


The aim of this study was to cast light on the effects of EconomasE™ (EcoE), a patented pre-mixture of nutritional additives consisting mainly of organic selenium (0.15 or 0.30 mg/kg feed; Se) combined with vitamin C (5 and 10 mg/kg feed; VC), compared to DL-α-tocopherol acetate (100 or 200 mg/kg feed; VE) dietary supplementation on rabbit performance and meat quality. In fact, the role of Se supplementation in the rabbit diet has not yet been elucidated in the literature and, more specifically, there are no studies on the possible synergistic action between organic Se compared with VE on lipids, fatty acids (FA) and the oxidative stability of two glycolytic muscles, longissimus lumborum (LL) and biceps femoris (BF). Two hundred and seventy New Zealand White rabbits were divided into five dietary groups of 54 rabbits each: 1) control (basal diet = BD; CTRL); 2) VE100 (BD + VE100 mg/kg); 3) VE200 (BD + VE200 mg/kg); 4) EcoE100 (BD + EcoE100 mg/kg); and 5) EcoE200 (BD + EcoE200 mg/kg). Neither of the antioxidant treatments affected growth performance, carcass traits or meat characteristics. Lipid and fatty acid contents were similar in LL and BF and not influenced by the dietary treatment. Meat oxidative stability was strongly improved by both antioxidants. These findings indicate that both EcoE and VE greatly improved the oxidative stability of LL and BF muscles at the dosage rates which, from an economic point of view, would normally be included in the formulation of feeds for rabbits.


rabbit; EconomasETM; selenium; vitamin E; oxidative stability; meat quality

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