Diet digestibility in growing rabbits: effect of origin and oxidation level of dietary fat and vitamin e supplementation.

C. Casado, V.J. Moya, C. Fernández, J.J. Pascual, E. Blas, C. Cervera


The effects of the dietary inclusion of fats with different origin (lard or vegetal oil), fatty acid profile (linseed or sunflower), oxidation level (fresh, peroxidised: 11 d at 55ºC or oxidised: 31 h at 140ºC) and vitamin E supplementation (0 or 100 ppm) on the rabbit diet apparent digestibility were studied. Digestibility coefficients of dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, ether extract and gross energy were determined in eight diets using 58 rabbits aged 49 d. Contrast analysis between groups of diets showed that lard, characterised by a greater saturated fatty acid content, compared with vegetal oils, rich in unsaturated fatty acid, reduced the apparent digestibility of ether extract (62.3 vs. 68.4%; P=0.0329). However, there were no significant differences in the nutrient digestibility when linseed or sunflower oils (rich in ω-3 or in ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, respectively) were compared. The oxidation degree of the sunflower oil and the supplementation with 100 ppm of vitamin E to the diets did not modify the apparent digestibility values of any dietary fraction.
Key Words: rabbit, fat, ω-3/ω-6 fatty acids, oxidation level, tocopherol, digestibility.


rabbit; fat; ω-3/ω-6 fatty acids; oxidation level; tocopherol; digestibility

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