Quality of meat and selenium content in tissues of rabbits fed diets supplemented with sodium selenite, selenized yeast and selenized algae


  • M. Marounek Institute of Animal Science
  • A. Dokoupilová Institute of Animal Science
  • Z. Volek Institute of Animal Science
  • I. Hoza Tomas Bata University




rabbit, selenium, selenite, selenized yeast, selenized algae, meat


Forty rabbits weaned at 35 d of age were randomly assigned to 4 groups of 10 rabbits each. The rabbits were fed a basal granulated diet containing 0.08 mg Se/kg, or diets obtained from basal diet, supplemented with sodium selenite, selenized yeast (Se-yeast) or selenized algae Chlorella (Se-algae) to increase the Se concentration to 0.40 mg/kg. After 6 weeks rabbits were slaughtered at 77 d of age. Samples of meat, liver and hair were analyzed. The Se supplements did not influence rabbit growth, feed intake and weight loss during cooling. The nutrient composition of meat (dry matter, protein and fat concentration) was only marginally influenced. The Se concentration in the loin and hindleg meat increased by 23.0% and 19.2%, respectively in rabbits receiving the selenite supplement. In rabbits fed Se-yeast and Se-algae, the Se content in meat doubled from 0.11-0.15 mg/kg to 0.24-0.29 mg/kg. High Se concentrations (=1 mg/kg) were observed in hair and liver of rabbits which had received the Se-supplements. In all supplemented groups, the activity of glutathione peroxidase in the loin meat was higher than in control rabbits by 51.9-72.8% (P<0.001). The oxidative stability of rabbit meat, however, was not influenced. It follows from our results that (i) the enrichment of meat with Se is the main benefit of supranutritional Se supply in rabbits, and (ii) Se-yeast and Se-algae are more effective in increasing Se content in tissues than selenite.


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Author Biographies

M. Marounek, Institute of Animal Science

Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics. Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

A. Dokoupilová, Institute of Animal Science

Department of Animal Science and Ethology, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague

I. Hoza, Tomas Bata University

Department of Food Biochemistry and Analysis