Effect of hesperidin dietary supplementation on growth performance, carcass traits and meat quality of rabbits

P.E. Simitzis, C. Babaliaris, M.A. Charismiadou, G. Papadomichelakis, M. Goliomytis, G.K. Symeon, S.G. Deligeorgis

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to examine the dose effects of hesperidin dietary supplementation on fattening rabbits’ growth performance, as well as carcass and meat quality characteristics. Forty-eight Hyla hybrid male weaned (35 d old) rabbits were purchased and randomly assigned to 3 dietary groups of 16 rabbits each and fed diets supplemented with the antioxidant hesperidin at 0, 1 and 2 g/kg feed. At 80 d of age, the rabbits were slaughtered and samples of Longissimus lumborum (LL) muscle were used to estimate meat quality traits. No significant differences were observed in body weight at the age of 80 d, feed conversion rate (35 to 80 d), or organ weights among the 3 groups. The pH, colour, percentage of released water, shear force values and intramuscular fat content of LL muscle were not significantly influenced by the dietary treatment. Hesperidin dietary supplementation at both levels reduced the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), mainly arachidonic (C20:4n-6), docosapentaenoic (C22:5n-3) and eicosapentaenoic (C20:5n-3) (only at 2 g/kg), and PUFA/SFA ratio (P<0.01). Based on the malondialdehyde (MDA) values, hesperidin inclusion did not influence meat antioxidant status during the 9-d refrigerated storage at 4°C. Thus, we may conclude that dietary supplementation with hesperidin at the selected concentration levels did not generally influence growth performance, carcass traits, meat quality or antioxidant capacity in fattening rabbits, although meat values for PUFAs appeared to be decreased.

Keywords

hesperidin; rabbit growth; oxidation; carcass; fatty acids

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