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The aim of this review is to discuss the use of microalgae as a feed ingredient in poultry nutrition. Microalgae are unicellular, photosynthetic aquatic plants. They are introduced to poultry diets mainly as a rich source of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, including docohexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid, but they can also serve as a protein, microelement, vitamin and antioxidants source, as well as a pigmentation agent for skin and egg yolks. The majority of experiments have shown that microalgae, mainly Spirulina and Chlorella sourced as a defatted biomass from biofuel production, can be successfully used as a feed ingredient in poultry nutrition. They can have beneficial effects on meat and egg quality, i.e. via an increased concentration of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and carotenoids, and in regards to performance indices and immune function. Positive results were obtained when fresh microalgae biomass was used to replace antibiotic growth promoters in poultry diets. In conclusion, because of their chemical composition, microalgae can be efficiently used in poultry nutrition to enhance the pigmentation and nutritional value of meat and eggs, as well as partial replacement of conventional dietary protein sources.
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Application of microalgae biomass in
poultry nutrition
National Research Institute of Animal Production, Department of Animal
PoznańUniversity of Life Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and
Feed Management ul. Wołyńska 33, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
*Corresponding author:
The aim of this review is to discuss the use of microalgae as a feed ingredient in
poultry nutrition. Microalgae are unicellular, photosynthetic aquatic plants. They
are introduced to poultry diets mainly as a rich source of n-3 long chain
polyunsaturated fatty acids, including docohexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acid,
but they can also serve as a protein, microelement, vitamin and antioxidants
source, as well as a pigmentation agent for skin and egg yolks. The majority of
experiments have shown that microalgae, mainly Spirulina and Chlorella sourced as
a defatted biomass from biofuel production, can be successfully used as a feed
ingredient in poultry nutrition. They can have benecial effects on meat and egg
quality, i.e. via an increased concentration of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and
carotenoids, and in regards to performance indices and immune function. Positive
results were obtained when fresh microalgae biomass was used to replace antibiotic
growth promoters in poultry diets. In conclusion, because of their chemical
composition, microalgae can be efciently used in poultry nutrition to enhance
the pigmentation and nutritional value of meat and eggs, as well as partial
replacement of conventional dietary protein sources.
Keywords: microalgae; poultry; egg and meat quality; PUFA; carotenoids
Microalgae, which are dened as microscopic algae, are unicellular, photosynthetic
organisms which grow in salt or fresh water. As a rich source of nutrients and
biologically active substances, including protein, amino acids, n-3 long chain
polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA n-3), microelements, vitamins, antioxidants, and
carotenoids, they have a long history of application as a food for humans (Belay et al.,
The increasing demand for human protein food sources has resulted in a need for new
feed materials which provide a safe source of nutrients for poultry and livestock. Several
feeding experiments have demonstrated that microalgae of different species can be
© World's Poultry Science Association 2015
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, December 2015
Received for publication July 30, 2015
Accepted for publication August 13, 2015 663
successfully included into poultry diets, for example as a defatted biomass byproduct
from biofuel production, and can have a benecial inuence on birdshealth,
performance, and the quality of meat and eggs. Especially important for the poultry
industry are recent studies where microalgal biomass was efciently used in the
production of eggs containing health-promoting lipids, i.e. eggs enriched with health-
promoting long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs n-3). The traditional
method of enriching eggs with LCPUFAs n-3 is to incorporate linseed or sh oil into the
layer diet; however, this latter method is limited by the high demand for marine products
and the risk of their contamination with heavy metals (Wu et al., 2012). For this reason
the use of some microalgae species, for instance Nannochloropsis gaditana,
Schizochytrium limacinum,Phaeodactylum tricornutum, and Isochrysis galbana,in
poultry nutrition could be of interest not only as a source of nutrients, but also as an
alternative way of enriching of eggs with LCPUFAs n-3. The objective of this review is
to discuss the results of current poultry studies where the effects of poultry feeding with
microalgae have been examined.
Efcacy of microalgal biomass in poultry nutrition
The blue-green algae (Spirulina) is cultivated worldwide for use in the food and feed
industries. Because of their prokaryotic cell type, this microalgae is sometimes called
cyanobacteria and can be classied into two species: Spirulina platensis and S. maxima.
Dried Spirulina biomass has a high nutritional value for human and animals as it contains
about 60-70% protein, as well as being a good source of essential fatty acids, vitamins
and minerals (Khan et al., 2005). Spirulina is a rich source of carotenoids and contains
around 6,000 mg total xanthophylls and 7,000 mg total carotenoids/kg in freeze-dried
biomass (Anderson et al., 1991). The study by Muhling et al. (2005) has shown a high
concentration of gamma-linolenic acid in Spirulina biomass, which is an essential
polyunsaturated fatty acid (12.9-29.4% total fatty acids).
The results of the experiments on Spirulina inclusion use in broiler diets are
summarised in Table 1. In recent work, Evans et al. (2015) showed that dried full-fat
Spirulina algae had an energy value equal to 90% the energy of corn (2839 kcal TMEn/
kg), as well as containing a high level of crude protein (76%) and essential amino acids.
They also reported that up to 16% of dried algae can be incorporated into a broiler starter
diet without any negative effects on the performance of chicks. Similar results were
obtained in work by Ross and Dominy (1990) who found no signicant differences in
performance of broilers fed a diet containing 1.5, 3, 6 or 12% dehydrated Spirulina in
feed. They concluded that Spirulina at up to 12% of the diet may be substituted for other
protein sources in broiler diets with good growth and FCR. Toyomizu et al. (2001)
reported no difference in growth performance of broilers fed with or without 4 or 8% of
Spirulina biomass in the diet. However, the yellowness of muscles, skin, fat and liver
increased with an increasing dietary level of microalgae, being more attractive for
consumers in certain markets. Hence, dietary Spirulina is useful for the manipulation
of chicken meat colour, especially as the range where the llets produced by feeding
Spirulina do not fall under the extremes of either dark or light meat (Toyomizu et al.,
2001). Similar results were reported by Venkataraman et al. (1994) who demonstrated no
effect of dried Spirulina (included at 14 or 17% in the diet) as a replacement for dietary
sh meal or groundnut cake protein on performance, dressing percentage and
histopathology in the various organs of broiler. However they found a more intensive
meat colour in the case of birds fed algal-supplemented diets. In contrast to the above
Microalgae in poultry nutrition: S. Świątkiewicz et al.
664 World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, December 2015
authors, Shanmugapriya et al. (2015) recently observed improved body weight gain
(BWG), FCR and villus length in broilers fed a diet containing Spirulina biomass.
Mariey et al. (2014) reported that a low dietary level of Spirulina biomass (0.02 or
0.03%) not only improved performance in broilers, but also increased dressing
percentage, meat colour score, weight of lymphoid organs, improved blood
morphology and decreased relative abdominal fat weight, blood cholesterol,
triglycerides and total lipids.
Table 1 Results of selected studies on the effects of Spirulina inclusion into poultry diets.
Dietary Animals, duration of Results References
concentration the study and studied
of algae characteristics
1.5, 3, 6, Leghorn cockerel chicks, No signicant effect of Spirulina Ross and
or 12% 1-21 d. Performance on performance. Dominy
indices (1990)
0.001, 0.01, White Leghorns and broiler No effect of Spirulina on performance. Qureshi et al.
0.1, 1.0% chicks, 1-49 1-21 d. Leghorn chicks in Spirulina-dietary (1996)
Growth performance, groups had increased total anti-SRBC
Immune characteristics titters; birds of both strains had
increased phagocytic potential of
macrophages and NK-cell activity
4 or 8% Broiler chickens, 21-37 d. No effect of Spirulina on performance Toyomizu
Performance and and relative weights of internal organs. et al.
pigmentation of the Pigmentation (yellowness) of muscles, (2001)
muscles skin, fat, and liver increased with an
increasing dietary level of Spirulina
0.01, 0.02, Broiler chickens, 1-42 d. 0.02 or 0.03% of Spirulina increased Mariey et al.
or 0.03% Performance, carcass BWG, feed efciency, meat colour (2014)
and meat quality, score, weight of bursa, thymus and
blood haematology spleen, blood total protein, globulin and
and biochemistry, weight albumin, and red and white blood cells
of lymphoid organs count, as well as lowered relative
abdominal fat weight, blood plasma
cholesterol, triglycerides, and total lipids
6, 11, 16, Broiler chickens, 1-21 d. Dietary levels up to 16% algae Evans et al.
or 21% Performance, content resulted in a similar performance as in (2015)
of digestible amino acids control group. The positive effect of
in the diet algae inclusion on the digestible
methionine content in the diet
0.5, 1.0, Broiler chickens, 1-21 d. A positive effect of 1% Spirulina on Shanmugapriya
or 1.5% Performance indices, BWG, FCR, and villus length et al. (2015)
histological measurements
1.5, 2.0, Laying hens, 63-67 wk. Spirulina increased yolk colour without Zahroojian
or 2.5% Laying performance, an effect on egg performance et al. (2011)
yolk colour
1.5, 2.0, Laying hens, 63-67 wk. No signicant effect of Spirulina Zahroojian
or 2.5% Performance, egg quality, on studied indices, except yolk et al. (2013)
yolk cholesterol content colour, which was increased by
dietary algae addition
Microalgae in poultry nutrition: S. Świątkiewicz et al.
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, December 2015 665
The results of several trials have shown that Spirulina can be used to enhance the
immune function of birds. Quereshi et al. (1996) reported that broiler chicks fed diets
containing 1% Spirulina had increased phytohaemagglutinin-mediated lymphocyte
proliferation and phagocytic activity of macrophages compared to control treatment.
Raju et al. (2005) found that dietary Spirulina (0.05% in feed) can partially alleviate
the negative effects of aatoxin on weight of immune organs and BWG in broilers.
Experiments with laying hens have been mainly focussed on evaluating the efciency
of Spirulina biomass as a source of carotenoids for pigmentation of egg yolks. In
experiments with laying hens, Zahroojian et al. (2011; 2013) demonstrated that algal
carotenoids were well absorbed and accumulated in the egg yolk, and 2.0-2.5% dietary
Spirulina could be used to produce eggs with increased yolk colour with similar
efciency to a synthetic pigment. An earlier study with quail (Anderson et al., 1991)
showed that optimal yolk colour was achieved when 1% of Spirulina biomass was added
to the diet. Mariey et al. (2012) reported improved egg production, hatchability and yolk
colour when laying hens were fed a diet with a low level of Spirulina inclusion (0.1-
A study with Japanese quail by Ross and Dominy (1990) evaluated the effect of
Spirulina included at 1.5, 3.0, 6.0, or 12.0% in the diet on growth performance, egg
production and quality.The authors observed no signicant differences due to the dietary
microalgae level, except for increased yolk colour and fertility in birds fed with Spirulina,
and concluded that up to 12% of Spirulina biomass could be included into diets. The
results of the study with growing quail (aged 15-35 days) showed no negative effects in
growth performance and meat quality when included in levels up to 4% of Spirulina in
feed (Cheong et al., 2015).
Chlorella, a unicellular, freshwater green microalgae used mainly for human food and
biofuel production, has been studied in several animal experiments as a potential source
of high quality protein (approximately 60%), essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals,
and antioxidants. Chlorella biomass is a very good source of carotenoids, as it contains
1.2-1.3% of total pigments in dry mass (Batista et al., 2013). As indicated by Kotrbacek
et al. (2015), this microalgae is too expensive to be used as protein material for animals,
however, due to the content of many bioactive substances, even a low, economically
acceptable dietary level of Chlorella biomass may benecially affect animal performance.
A very early study with chickens (Combs, 1952) demonstrated that dried Chlorella,
included into the diet at 10% could serve as a rich source of certain nutrients, i.e.
carotene, riboavin and vitamin B12, and increased performance in birds when the
diet was decient in these nutrients. Grau and Klein (1957) reported that Chlorella
biomass grown in sewage was a rich source of protein and xanthophyll pigments, and
levels up to 20% in the diet was well tolerated by chicks. Similarly, Lipstein and Hurwitz
(1983) found that Chlorella was a suitable protein supplement in broiler diets and, used at
5 or 10% dietary level, had no adverse effect on growth performance.
Kang et al. (2013) studied the effects of the replacement of antibiotic growth promoter
with different forms of Chlorella on performance, immune indices and the intestinal
microoral population. They found that Chlorella in its fresh liquid form included at a
1% dietary level benecially affected BWG, some immune characteristics (e.g. number of
white blood cells and lymphocytes, plasma IgA, IgM, and IgG concentrations) and the
intestinal production of Lactobacillus bacteria (Table 2). Such an effect of dietary
Chlorella appears to be based on multiple components, and the bre fraction, among
others including a polysaccharide named immurella, glycoprotein, and peptides contained
in Chlorella, stimulate the immune response of birds (Kang et al., 2013). Likewise,
Microalgae in poultry nutrition: S. Świątkiewicz et al.
666 World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, December 2015
Kotrbacek et al. (1994) found that broilers fed a diet with 0.5% Chlorella signicantly
increased the phagocytic activity of leucocytes and lymphatic tissue development.
Rezvani et al. (2012) observed a numeric increase in response to phytohemagglutinin-
P, which was accompanied by improved FCR in broilers fed supplementary Chlorella.
Table 2 Results of selected studies on the effects of Chlorella inclusion to poultry diets.
Dietary Animals, duration of Results References
concentration the study and studied
of algae characteristics
Selenium- Broiler chickens, 1-42 d. Positive effect of algae on BWG, Se Dlouha et al.
enriched Performance, Se content and glutathione peroxidase (2008)
Chlorella added concentration and activity in breast meat. Decreased
in the amount activity of glutathione oxidation of stored breast meat of birds
supplying 0.3 mg peroxidase in meat, fed a diet with Se-enriched Chlorella
Se/kg of the diet oxidative stability
of meat lipids
0.07, 0.14, Broiler chickens, 1-42 d. Improved FCR and a numerical increase Rezvani et al.
or 0.21% Performance, immune in response to phytohemagglutinin-P (2012)
response indices in broilers fed with dietary
Chlorella biomass
1%, to replace Broiler chickens, 1-28 d. Fresh liquid Chlorella positively Kang et al.
antibiotic growth Performance, immune affected BWG, the immune (2013)
promoter (dried indices, intestinal characteristics and Lactobacillus
powder, or fresh bacteria population bacteria count in the intestine
liquid Chlorella)
0.25, 0.50, 0.75% Laying hens, 22-54 wk. Chlorella improved yolk colour, Halle et al.
(in the form of Laying performance, egg shell weight and egg hatchability, (2009)
spray dried or quality and hatchability, without affecting performance
bullet milled and nitrogen balance and nitrogen balance
spray dried
1.25% Laying hens, 25-39 wk. Positive effect of Chlorella on egg Englmaierova
Performance, egg weight, FCR, shell quality, yolk et al. (2013)
quality, oxidative colour, yolk lutein and zeaxanthin, as
stability of yolk lipids well as oxidative stability of yolk lipids
of fresh and stored eggs.
1 or 2% Laying hens, 56-63 wk. Chlorella increased yolk carotenoids, Kotrbacek
Egg quality, yolk lutein, β-carotene and zeaxanthin et al. (2013)
carotenoids content, content and yolk colour score. It
blood triacylglycerol decreased FI and yolk weight in hens
and cholesterol level fed a diet with 2% of Chlorella
1% (conventional Laying hens, 70-72 wk 1% conventional or lutein-fortied An et al.
or lutein-fortied. (Exp. 1), 60-62 wk Chlorella improved egg production, (2014)
Chlorella) (Exp of age (Exp. 2). yolk colour and lutein content in the
1), 0.1 or 0.2% Performance, egg serum, liver and growing oocytes. 0.2%
lutein-fortied quality, lutein of lutein- fortied Chlorella increased
Chlorella in the content in the body of egg weight, yolk colour and lutein
diet (Exp. 2) hens and eggs. content in eggs
Microalgae in poultry nutrition: S. Świątkiewicz et al.
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, December 2015 667
Dietary Animals, duration of Results References
concentration the study and studied
of algae characteristics
0.1 or 0.2% Laying hens, 80-86 wk. Chlorella improved egg production, Zheng et al.
(fermented Performance, egg yolk colour, Haugh units and lactic (2012)
Chlorella quality, intestinal acid bacteria cecal population
biomass) microora prole
0.1 or 0.2% Pekin ducks, 1-42 d. Positive effect of Chlorella on BWG, FI, Oh et al.
(fermented Growth performance, meat quality and tibia breaking strength, (2015)
Chlorella meat quality, cecal without differences in cecal microora
biomass) microora, tibia
bones quality
Because Chlorella is grown in the presence of high levels of selenite, it accumulates
cellular selenium and there is a growing interest in the use of this algae as a rich source of
Se for animals (Kotrbacek et al., 2015). In a study with broilers, Dlouha et al. (2008)
found that dietary addition of Se-enriched Chlorella biomass not only positively affected
BWG but also increased Se content and glutathione peroxidase activity in breast meat, as
well as decreasing the oxidation of breast meat stored under refrigeration.
A positive effect of Chlorella as a feed material for laying hens was found by Halle et
al. (2009), who reported that layers fed a diet supplemented with dietary algae had
increased egg hatchability, yolk colour and shell weight without affecting egg
performance and nitrogen balance. In a subsequent study, the same authors showed a
higher diversity of the microbiota community in the intestinal tract of hens fed a diet
containing Chlorella and suggested that it could be responsible for the effects on egg
quality (Janczyk et al., 2009). A benecial inuence of feeding Chlorella on laying
performance, egg quality, and caecal lactic bacteria population was observed by Zheng et
al. (2012). Skrivan et al. (2008) reported that Se-enriched Chlorella was a more efcient
source of Se than sodium selenite as, despite equal doses of Se supplementation, a higher
Se content was found in eggs from hens fed diet supplemented with Chlorella.Anet al.
(2014) found that diet supplementation with conventional or lutein-enriched Chlorella
could positively affect egg performance, yolk colour and lutein concentration in eggs.
Hence, the use of Chlorella is a valuable tool for the production of chicken eggs enriched
with natural lutein, and increasing consumption of this compound can prevent macular
degeneration in the human ageing population. Englmaierova et al. (2013) showed that
supplementing layers with Chlorella not only increased the concentration of lutein and
zeaxanthin, but also improved FCR, shell quality, and the oxidative stability of yolk
lipids of fresh and stored eggs. In agreement, Kotrbacek et al. (2013) reported
signicantly increased yolk carotenoidscontent as well as yolk colour score in hens
fed with Chlorella supplementation, however, dietary microalgae decreased feed intake
and yolk weight.
The results of an early study by Lipstein and Hurwitz (1981) showed that the
microalgae Micractinium could be a useful protein source for broilers, and
supplementing up to a 6% in the diet had no negative effect on growth performance.
However, chickens fed a higher inclusion level of this algae had decreased feed intake
and BWG. The study by Austic et al. (2013) evaluated the effects of Staurosira
Table 2 Continued
668 World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, December 2015
Microalgae in poultry nutrition: S. Świątkiewicz et al.
incorporation into the broilersdiet, and the results indicated that Staurosira may be used
to substitute 7.5% of soybean meal without any negative inuence on performance or
plasma and liver biomarkers, when an appropriate amino acids dietary level was
The aim of the study by Waldenstedt et al. (2003) was to evaluate the efcacy of an
increasing dietary level of Haematococcus pluvalis meal, used as an astaxanthin source,
in broiler chickens infected with Campylobacter jejuni. The authors showed no inuence
of algal meal on performance, but tissue astaxanthin concentrations were signicantly
higher with increasing levels of dietary algae. Caecal Campylobacter jejuni populations
was not affected by Haematococcus pluvalis inclusion, however a diet with 0.18% algal
meal reduced caecal Clostridium perfringens counts. Yan and Kim (2013) showed that
adding 0.1 or 0.2% Schizochytrium to the diet improved the fatty acid composition of
breast meat lipids, without affecting BWG in broilers.
Poultry products enriched with n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are good
examples of a functional food, i.e. food that, in addition to possessing traditionally
understood nutritional value, can benecially affect the metabolic and health status of
consumers, thus reducing the risk of various chronic lifestyle diseases (Pietras and
Orczewska-Dudek, 2013; Yanovych et al., 2013; Zdunczyk and Jankowski, 2013).
The results of several experiments have shown that microalgae, as a rich source of
LCPUFAs n-3, can be introduced into the diet of laying hens to produce functional
foods, i.e. designer eggs with naturally increased LCPUFAs n-3 concentration. For
instance, Bruneel et al. (2013) reported an increased content of DHA in egg yolks of
hens fed a diet containing Nannochloropsis gaditana and suggested that this algae may
be used as an alternative to current sources of LCPUFA n-3 for the production of DHA-
enriched eggs. A similar effect was seen on enhanced DHA yolk concentration through
diet supplementation with the marine microalgae Schizochytrium limacinum (Rizzi et al.,
2009). What is important here is that the sensory characteristics of eggs enriched with
LCPUFA n-3 by a addition of Schizochytrium were not altered (Parpinello et al., 2006).
The results of recent work by Park et al. (2015) have shown that the addition of
Schizochytrium to layersdiet not only signicantly improved the fatty acids prole of
the yolks but also positively affected laying performance and egg quality.
Lemahieu et al. (2013) compared the efcacy of four different algae species
(Phaeodactylum tricornutum,Nannochloropsis oculata,Isochrysis galbana and
Chlorella fusca) on the enrichment of egg yolks in LCPUFA n-3. They reported that
the highest enrichment with PUFA n-3 as well as increased yolk colour was achieved
with supplementation using Phaeodactylum or Isochrysis, and these two microalgae
could be used as an alternative to current sources for the enrichment of eggs.
Subsequent studies proved the suitability of Isochrysis as an LCPUFA n-3 source and
showed that 2.4% dietary supplementation with Isochrysis lead to the highest LCPUFA
n-3 enrichment in the yolk, and that this supplementation level should be considered as
the optimal dose (Lemahieu et al., 2014; 2015).
Because of a high content of lipids, certain microalgal species can be used as a suitable
material for the production of biofuels. Once defatted, algae can provide a rich source of
crude protein in poultry diets. Leng et al. (2014) showed no adverse effect of feeding
layers with 7.5% defatted Staurosira spp. when used for partial replacement of soybean
meal. However, higher dietary levels (15%) worsened egg performance, feed intake and
FCR. These authors indicated that such a decrease in performance was likely to be due to
the high ash and sodium chloride concentrations of the algae. The results of a recent
study by Ekmay et al. (2015) demonstrated that defatted Desmodesmus and Staurosira
spp. could be used in laying hen diets at relatively high levels (up to 25% in the diet), as
a source of well-digested dietary protein, without any negative effect on egg production.
Microalgae in poultry nutrition: S. Świątkiewicz et al.
World's Poultry Science Journal, Vol. 71, December 2015 669
A study with Muscovy ducks investigated the effects of diet supplementation with
0.5% microalgae Crypthecodinium cohnii (Schiavone et al., 2007). They demonstrated
the positive effect of this microalgae on the fatty acid prole in breast meat lipids,
without affecting growth performances or slaughter traits, as well as chemical
composition, colour, pH, oxidative stability and sensory characteristics of the breast
meat. An experiment with Japanese quail showed that diet supplementation with
Schizochytrium sp. could be an effective way of bio-fortifying egg LCPUFA n-3
levels, as the yolks of birds fed a diet with 0.5% of this microalgae signicantly
increased DHA concentration, as well decreasing n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio and cholesterol
content in yolk lipids (Gladkowski et al., 2014; Trziszka et al., 2014).
Summarising the literature available, it can be concluded that, although chemical
composition of different microalgal biomasses is diverse, many can safely be added to
poultry diets. Several Spirulina,Chlorella and other microalgae species may be used to
increase the pigmentation and nutritional value of meat and eggs for human consumption,
e.g. to enhance these products with LCPUFA n-3 and carotenoids, as well as to partially
replace conventional protein sources, mainly soybean meal.
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... The European Union (European Commision, 2001;Prestinaci et al., 2015) has decided to ban antibiotics as nutrition growth enhancers of poultry feed. So, numerous biological alternative approaches are under investigation for incorporating antimicrobe devoid of any adverse effects on productivity and health, respectively Swiatkiewicz et al., 2016). ...
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a widely used tool for estimation of environmental footprint of any products, technologies and services, throughout its whole lifecycle from cradle to grave. It is a standardized decision support system, for quantifying the different environmental impact categories and deciding upon the sustainability of each system employed. The use of LCA tools for wastewater treatment and their impact assessment is started very recently. In wastewater treatment the LCA tools compile and evaluate the inputs and the outputs, and consider their potential environmental impacts associated with the operation of the system for all types of wastewater treatment plants either for conventional or algal ponds, throughout its whole process chain. The LCA studies generally follow ISO standards (International Organization for Standardization) with baseline framework consisting of four phases’ viz. goal and scope determination, life cycle inventory analysis (LCI), life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) and interpretation of results. The inventory analysis accumulate the data or the database for analysis, using specific criteria or data quality matrices and the impact assessment is carried out with the help of different type of softwares viz. SimaPro®, Gabi®, OpenLCA®, Umberto® etc. The impact assessment transforms the mathematical data to environmental effect equivalent via the factor multiplication. The LCA studies has validated that the wastewater treatment with microalgae comparing to the conventional, can significantly reduced the negative environmental impacts, as well as the system has the advantage on low cost of operation, the possibility of recycling the nutrients in wastewater to high value products, reducing the emissions by absorption of CO2 present in the flue gases and the discharge of oxygenated effluent into the water body.
... Several workers have reported metal uptake, and fewer have looked at organic contaminants like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [23]. While the use of microalgae for the production of biofuels has been extensively researched, few studies have considered algae as poultry feed [24][25][26]. Using locally available natural resources may contribute to food security and sustainability, especially during a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. ...
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Eutrophication, coupled with ocean acidification and warming, results in an increased concentration of marine algae, severely impacting some regions. Several algae are a rich source of protein and minerals. Marine algae are rich in bioactive molecules with antioxidants, anti-inflam-matory, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial properties. These properties make them attractive for usage in the pharmaceutical industry. This study evaluated Sargassum sp., Spirulina sp., and Gracilaria sp. for use as poultry feed. Chemical analyses show that crude protein (CP) in analyzed algae was 9.07-63.63%, with a fiber content of 0.15-17.20%, and a crude fat range of 0.152-2.11%, suggesting that algae can partially substitute imported protein sources used for poultry feed. A rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) was used to assess the environmental footprint of algae usage in poultry feed. The environmental assessment results show promising opportunities to help harvest the algae from the marine area. However, the feasibility of establishing outdoor algal ponds is not environmentally viable in the Middle East.
... Present results showed that with increasing levels of lupin meal in the diet of experimental chickens, the levels of n-3 FA also increased. Improvement of n-3 FA content was also reported by Swiatkiewicz et al. (2015), who added microalgae as one of the components to feed mixture for broilers and laying hens. Microalgae are a rich source of n-3 long-chained FAs and with their use as an additive the beneficial effect was achieved, i.e. higher levels of mainly eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid. ...
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The experiment aimed to determine the effect of 50% (LS50) or 100% (LS100) substitution of lupin protein (variety Zulika) for soybean protein in feed mixtures intended for the nutrition of broiler chickens, on muscular fat quality (composition of fatty acids). There were established three groups of chickens for fattening with 80 individuals each (control group C and experimental groups). After the 34-day fattening period chicken breast and thigh muscles were analysed to find out the fatty acid composition. Lupin protein-based diets had a positive effect on the muscle quality of fattened chickens due to changes in fatty acid composition, compared to soya protein-based diets. The feeding of lupin-based diets to broiler chickens resulted in the reduction of saturated fatty acids (P ≤ 0.05) by 14% in LS50 group and 17% in LS100 group and increase of unsaturated fatty acids (P ≤ 0.05) by 58% in LS50 group and 90% in LS100 group in muscle fat. The results clearly confirm that lupin-based diet increases the dietary value of chicken meat as one of the most important protein sources in human nutrition.
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Sotirov, L., Denev, S., Chobanova, S., Bozakova, N., Velichkova, K., Dinev, T. & Koinarski, Ts. (2021). Effects of dietary marine microalgae Schizochytrium limacinum on natural humoral immunity of broiler chickens. Bulg. J. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of dehydrated whole cell dietary marine microalgae Schizochytrium limaci-num on natural humoral immunity of broiler chickens, including serum lysozyme concentrations, alternative pathway of complement activation, beta (β) lysine, alfa (IFN-α) and gamma (IFN-γ) interferons. The first completely randomised experimental design included 90 (ninety) and the second-120 (one hundred twenty) one day-old Ross 308 male broiler chickens that were obtained from a local commercial hatchery. Upon arrival, all chickens were individually weighted, wing-banded, and assigned randomly in three (Experiment 1) and fourth (Experiment 2) groups respectively, with three subgroups (replicates) of thirty birds each. They were housed in separate pens into wire type experimental cages that were placed in an environmentally controlled experimental poultry house. All experimental basal diets were formulated to meet or exceed broiler chick's nutritional requirements. The microalgae used in this study was a dehydrated, whole-cell Schizochytrium limacinum CCAP 4087/2, as a source of highly unsaturated fatty acids (DHA and EPA), supplemented with low and moderate doses. Water and feed were provided ad libitum throughout the experiments. The trials were terminated when the broiler chickens were 42 day of age. On the base of obtained results we can conclude that marine microalgae Schizochytrium limacinum, supplemented with low and moderate dietary doses, don't alter immune functions of tested indices in broiler chickens and even increase them after six weeks of treatment.
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Astaxanthin is one of the most effective and potent anti-oxidants astaxanthin is also a natural source for pigmentation in several aquatic organisms. Its utility to impart bright red coloration in farmed aquaculture animals is well recognized. In addition, astaxanthin has potential benefits to aquaculture species such as increasing their growth, survivability, improving flesh quality, and boosting reproductive performance and egg quality. Moreover, among of the many immunopotentiators, astaxanthin is more effective and an environmentally-friendly natural source mostly utilized in different fish diets for improving their immunological, hematological, and antioxidant properties. The demand for natural astaxanthin is also increasing in the poultry industries because of its potential in enhancing growth, immunity and pigmentation as well as the quality of both meat and egg. The green alga, Haematococcus pluvialis has received much attention for the production of astaxanthin on an industrial scale. Furthermore, Monoraphidium is another green alga that has potential for astaxanthin production. Furthermore, Chlorella zofingiensis, Chlorococcum spp., Scenedesmus spp., Chlamydomonas nivalis, Nannochloropsis spp., Chlamydocapsa spp., Chlorella vulgaris, Eremosphaera viridis, Neochloris wimmeri and Coelastrella striolata are also possible sources of astaxanthin. This review summarizes the potential microalgal sources of astaxanthin as well as downstream processing and the utilization of astaxanthin in the aquaculture and poultry industries.
The effect of phytobiotic additive – dry wormwood powder Artemisia Capillaris on the meat productivity of young quail was studied. The efficiency of different levels of additives in compound feed – 0.5-1.5% was studied. The most effective level of dry wormwood powder in the feed of young quails –1.0%. With the addition of this amount of Artemisia capillaris in the feed of young quail meat productivity, live weight increases by 5.37% (Р <0.05); absolute increase – by 5.60% (P<0.05); average daily increase – by 6.78% (P<0.001) and relative increase – by 146.52% (P<0.001); feed costs per 1 kg increase are reduced by 4.91%; the weight of unharvested, semi-gutted and gutted carcass increases by 5.94 (P<0.01), respectively; 6.53 (P<0.01) and 7.84% (P<0.01); the mass of the pectoral muscles and pelvic muscles increases by 19.95 (P<0.001) and 15.89% (P<0.01), respectively. The introduction of 0.5% dry wormwood powder in the feed of young quail causes an increase in live weight of birds by 3.32% (P<0.05), absolute, average daily and relative gains, respectively, by 3.45 (P<0.05 ), 3.39 (P<0.01) and 75.38% (P<0.001), reduction of feed costs per 1 kg increase – by 3.60%, increase in the weight of uncoupled, semi-gutted and gutted carcasses, respectively by 3.48 (P<0.05), 3.61 (P<0.01) and 4.28% (P<0.05), chest muscle mass – by 11.59% (P<0.01) and pelvic limb muscle – by 6,98% (P <0.05). A further increase in the level of dry wormwood powder in the feed of young quails to 1.5% led to a certain decrease in meat productivity compared to counterparts consuming feed with Artemisia capillaris content of 0.5-1.0%. However, compared to the control indicators of growth and meat productivity were higher. Different levels of dry wormwood powder in the feed did not significantly affect the weight of the skin, liver, kidneys, muscular stomach and heart, as well as the preservation of quail, which was at a high level – 94-95%.
Pig breeding is one of the leading agricultural sectors that ensures the country’s food safety. In this regard, pig breeding must become a highly profitable branch of the agro-industrial complex due to growth of range of production performance indicators. Various feed additives are the reserve for increasing the productivity of the animals. The most popular feed supplements used today are probiotics and phytobiotics. Modern probiotic preparations are a complex (symbiotic additives) consisting of various strains of bacteria with addition of enzymes, prebiotics, chelating elements, amino acids and biologically active components. The article provides data on use of the probiotic preparation “Profort” and the phytobiotic “Intebio” in feeding of sows in farrow and nursing sows. According to the results of scientific and economic experience it was found that feed additives increased the following indicators: prolificacy — by 1.9–2.9%, size of the young piglets — by 10.4–12.3%, number of mature piglets in the litter — by 10.8–11.8%, rate of survival of the young piglets — by 4.0–6.1%, weight of the piglets litter by the moment of weaning — by 18.0–22.2%. The use of the preparations led to decrease in feed costs per 1 kg of liveweight gain and increased revenue obtained from the sale of the young livestock.
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Novel feed ingredients may improve poultry health, but functionality of these ingredients may vary across basal diet formulations. This study evaluated a proprietary algae ingredient's effects on broiler performance, intestinal health, systemic immunity, and metabolic/immune kinotypes between corn- or wheat-based diets. Ross 308 broilers were housed in 80 floor pens (14 birds/pen) and assigned to 1 of 4 corn or wheat-based diets ± 0.175% algae ingredient for 42d. At the end of each 14d starter, grower, and finisher period, 10 birds/treatment were euthanized for tissue collection to assess intestinal histomorphology, systemic immune cell populations by flow cytometry and kinotypes by peptide arrays. On d28 and 29, 43 birds/treatment underwent a 12h feed restriction challenge followed by a fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran intestinal permeability assay. For the entire 42d study, wheat-based diets improved feed conversion rate (FCR) by 5 points compared to corn-based diets (P < 0.0001). Performance benefits related to algae inclusion were diet dependent, with algae inclusion improving 42d FCR by 6 points only in corn-based diets (P = 0.006). Birds fed wheat-based diets had reduced splenic monocyte/macrophage, CD1.1⁺, and T cell populations in the first 14d (P < 0.0001) and reduced serum fluorescence on d28/29 (P = 0.0002). Algae inclusion in the corn-based diet increased villus height in the duodenum on d28 and jejunum on d42, while reducing splenic CD3⁺CD8α⁺ cytotoxic T cells 13.4-27.5% compared to the corn-based control at the same timepoints (P < 0.0001). Kinome results showed a significant innate immune toll-like receptor (TLR) response via MyD88 at d14 in the small intestine of birds fed corn-based diets with algae that shifted to a more growth factor and adaptive immune-oriented response by d42. Concurrent with immune changes, signaling changes indicative of lipid metabolism in the small intestine, ceca, and liver were seen in birds fed the corn-based diet with algae. The observed differential responses to basal diet composition and algae inclusion emphasize the need to comparatively evaluate feed ingredients in various diet formulations.
The purpose of this chapter is to scrutinize and render significant knowledge regarding potential applications of microalgae bolstering the environment and ecosystem. This chapter focuses on assessing the capabilities of microalgal species as a raw material for developing biologically significant products with applications in diverse spectra. The chapter is divided into three major sections: (1) microalgae—which discusses, in brief, the versatility of microalgae and different species, various cultivation methods and production processes following the roadmap and their market potential respectively; (2) ecological services—which deals with broad range applications of microalgae benefiting human and social welfare, for example, health supplements, poultry feeding, antitumor activity, antioxidant properties, cosmetics, and therapeutic applications; (3) environment-based services—which illustrate the potential role of microalgae in treating wastewaters, pest control, aquaculture, mitigation of harmful gases, production of diverse biofuels like biodiesel, and bioethanol, remediation of heavy metals toxicity such as mercury and cadmium. Furthermore, this chapter gives a brief overview of different regulatory policies associated with the exploitation of microalgae for serving mankind and improving the condition of the environment, indenting to make the world a better place to live in.
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The carotenoid composition of the blue-green algae spirulina (Spirulina platensis) was determined using HPLC. Freeze-dried spirulina had a total xanthophyll concentration of 5,787 mg/kg. Adult Japanese quail were fed a pigment-free basal diet for 4 wk. Diets containing graded levels of freeze-dried spirulina between .25 and 4.0% were then fed for 21 days. Yolk color was determined using the Roche color fan. Spirulina at 1.0% of the diet provided optimum pigmentation in a diet otherwise free of xanthophylls.
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This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of different levels of Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis) inclusion in feed on live performance, carcass composition and meat quality of Japanese quails during growing stage to identify the best inclusion range for Japanese quails without affecting the growth and carcass parameters. Three hundred Japanese quails of 15 days of age were used in this experiment, randomly divided into 5 groups with 3 replication comprised of 30 males and 30 females. The quails were fed with a basal diet as a control and 4 levels of Spirulina inclusion diet 1, 2, 4 and 8%. Diets were fed to birds from 15 days to 35 days of age. Body weight gain (BWG), Feed intake (FI), Feed conversion ratio (FCR) and Mortality rate (MR) were recorded weekly during the experiment. Carcass composition and meat quality tests were done after slaughtering. BWG, FI, FCR and MR were significantly different (p < 0.05) in the experiment. Carcass composition was found to be significantly different in the leg percentage (p < 0.05). Meat color and meat shear force value were also found to differ significantly (p < 0.05) with the Spirulina inclusion diet showing a better result than the control. Therefore, the result of this experiment suggests that diets up to 4% of Spirulina achieve the best live performance, carcass composition and meat quality.
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ISA Brown hens were fed diets supplemented with the synthetic carotenoids Carophyll Red and Carophyll Yellow at 20 and 15 mg/kg, respectively, lutein at 250 mg/kg, and the algae Chlorella at 12.5 g/kg. The synthetic carotenoids, lutein, and Chlorella significantly increased egg weight (P < 0.001), shell weight (P < 0.001), and thickness (P = 0.017) and decreased the yolk/albumen ratio (P = 0.035) of the eggs. Lutein but not the Carophylls or Chlorella significantly increased the shell breaking strength (P = 0.032). Furthermore, the carotenoids and Chlorella significantly (P < 0.001) increased yolk colour, and the yolk redness increased significantly (P < 0.001) in the following order: control < Chlorella < Carophyll < lutein. Lutein and Chlorella increased the yellowness of the yolks, and boiling the eggs for 5 min increased the redness of the yolks, while boiling them for 10 min increased the lightness and reduced the colour of the yolks. Supplementation of feed with lutein and Chlorella significantly (P < 0.001) increased the concentration of lutein (from 12.8 to 133.9 and 49.0 mg/kg dry matter) and zeaxanthin (from 9.2 to 123.9 and 40.1 mg/kg dry matter) in the yolks, and all carotenoids and Chlorella significantly (P < 0.001) increased the oxidative stability of the lipids of fresh eggs and eggs that had been stored at 18°C for 28 days.
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In this experiment, a total of 128 Hy-line W36 hens at 63 weeks of age were used. The hens were put at random into 4 treatment groups (4 replicates and 32 hens per treatment) and were fed four different diets: three diets with different levels of Spirulina (1.5, 2.0 and 2.5%) and one control group based on wheat and soybean meal. All birds were housed in commercial cages, had ad libitum access to water, and were fed 100 g bird-1 per day. Egg production, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, egg weight, yolk index, Haugh unit, shell thickness, shell weight, specific gravity, egg yolk cholesterol, and yolk color were compared with the control group. Egg yolk color was measured by the BASF Ovo-color fan. Our results indicated that these traits did not show any significant changes with the Spirulina addition (P> 0.05), while a significant increase in egg yolk color was observed in the treatments that received the Spirulina (P< 0.0001). Yolk color scores of the control group and different levels of Spirulina (1.5, 2.0 and 2.5%) were 1.5, 10.5, 11.4 and 11.6 in BASF color fan, respectively. There were not significant differences between the treatments with 2.0 and 2.5% of Spirulina. In conclusion, this study can suggest use of 2.0~2.5% of Spirulina in diet to produce an aesthetically pleasing yolk color.
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Unicellular freshwater microalgae of the genus Chlorella are characterised by a relative ease of cultivation, high productivity and high content of proteins and other valuable components. However, the alga is too expensive to use widely as a protein supplement in animal feed. Nevertheless, in many experiments, it was found that even a very low, economically acceptable addition of Chlorella biomass to animal feed can positively influence growth and performance. This is due to the presence of pigments, antioxidants, provitamins, vitamins and a growth substance known as the Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF), which can stimulate or enhance the immune system, increase feed intake and utilisation and promote reproduction; the use of Chlorella biomass might therefore increase the value of animal products for human consumption. Significant results were also achieved in the use of Chlorella biomass as a carrier of organically bound selenium and iodine that play a substantial role in the thyroid hormone regulation in an organism.
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Algae, a human supplement and alternative fuel source, has potential as a feed ingredient for poultry. Three studies were conducted with the following objectives: determine digestible nutrient values for a commercially available Spirulina algae (Study 1), formulate and pellet a practical broiler starter diet using these data (Study 2), and assess feeding diet formulations with varying levels of algae on Hubbard X Cobb 500 broiler performance and apparent ileal amino acid digestibility (AIAAD; Study 3). Spirulina algae TMEn (2,839 kcal/kg) and true amino acid digestibility (TAAD) values (2.10, 1.07, 0.42, and 1.97% lysine, methionine, cysteine, and threonine, respectively) from Study 1 were used to formulate a practical broiler starter diet containing 21% algae. A diet containing 0% algae was also formulated. Both diets were pelleted, ground, and mixed at different ratios to create diets containing 6, 11, and 16% algae. The 21% algae diet resulted in a nominally lower production rate and an increase in hot pellet temperature and pellet durability compared to the 0% algae diet. Diets containing up to 16% algae resulted in statistically similar ending parameter compared birds fed the 0% algae diet: ending bird weight (EBW), live weight gain, and feed intake (P > 0.05). The 16% algae diet resulted in the highest level of digestible cysteine and lysine (P < 0.0001). All diets containing algae resulted in higher digestible methionine values compared to the 0% algae diet (P < 0.0001). Descriptive feed manufacture, performance, and AIAAD data demonstrated value in algae incorporation into practical diet formulations.
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The effect of high aluminum concentration on phosphorus utilization was established with diets containing three different sewage-grown Micractinium algae which had been harvested by alum flocculation. Inclusion of 25% algae meal in chick diets reduced the plasma inorganic phosphorus as compared with the control diet by 59% or 75% in an apparent proportion to the aluminum concentration in the algae – 3.9% and 5.3% alum, respectively. The metabolizable energy concentration of the various samples ranged from 1864 to 2880 kcal/kg and the nitrogen absorption from 53.8 to 68.2%. The nutritional value of one of the algae samples was assessed in a broiler and a layer trial. Diets formulated by computer in a linear-programming system contained 3, 6, and 9% in the broiler trial and in the layer trial 5, 10, and 15% of dried algae meal. Inclusion of up to 6% algae meal in well-balanced broiler diets from 1 to 7 weeks of age had no adverse effect either on growth or on feed/gain ratio. A reduced feed intake in the young chicks due to 9% algae resulted in a graded decrease in weight gain, while in the finisher period the decrease of feed intake caused a reduction in the accumulation of abdominal fat. In laying hens the significantly inhibited feed intake resulted in a corresponding decrease in layer performance. The role of dicalcium phosphate addition to neutralize the deleterious effect of high dietary aluminum level is discussed.
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Functional foods, defined as “foods that may provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition”, became increasingly popular in the past twenty years with numerous practical applications. In Europe, functional foods must be accompanied by scientifically substantiated health claims. Products which aspire to that category include poultry meat and processed meat products which have been modified through bird nutrition. This article reviews the existing knowledge about foods fortified with health-promoting additives. It discusses the physiological, economic and legal aspects of modifying poultry meat, including turkey meat which has been poorly investigated in this context. The addition of oils rich in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids), e.g. linseed oil, to poultry diets has been found to increase LC n-3 PUFA (long-chain omega-3 PUFA) concentrations in chicken and turkey meat. LC n-3 PUFAs participate in many processes that condition metabolism and health, and the nutritional value of meat, including poultry, is most commonly enhanced by increasing the proportion of LC n-3 PUFAs in the product's fatty acid composition. However, it increases feed costs and may cause a deterioration in the sensory attributes and oxidative stability of meat. Turkey breast meat is characterized by a relatively low fat content, which is why the fulfilment of health claim requirements is difficult in the European Union.
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The effect was studied of the application of algae marine and linseed as a source of fatty acids to feeding Japanese quail hens (Coturnix coturnix japonica) in terms of improving physical characteristics of eggs as well as the content of cholesterol and fatty acid profile in the yolk. Once the birds from a control group (240 females, divided into 6 replicates) were 6 weeks old, they were given ad libitum a standard G- 090 feed (Granum Animals Nutrition, Poland ). The experimental group (of the same structure) received the same feed, which, however, was enriched with algae marine (DHA Gold, Novus, Poland ) and linseed in the amount of 5 g and 40 g, respectively, plus 0.3 g of selenium yeast (as an antioxidant) per 1 kg of feed. For further analysis, the eggs were collected in the 9th (period I), 13th (period II), and in the 17th week (period III) of production, i.e. in the 16th, 20th, and 24th week of age. During the three egg-laying periods, physical parameters of eggs in each group were assessed (weight of egg, of shell, of yolk and of egg white, yolk colour, and shell strength and thickness) as was the fatty acid profile; those parameters were determined by a gas chromatograph coupled with a mass spectrometer (GC/MS). Cholesterol was analyzed using an HP liquid chromatograph (produced by Agilent Technologies). Enriching the feed of Japanese quail with algae marine and linseed had no effect on the morphological composition and physical parameters of egg (egg weight, percent contents of egg white, yolk and shell, thickness and strength of the shell), but it caused the active acidity (pH) of the egg white and yolk to significantly decrease. In addition, the applied additives caused the cholesterol level in the yolk to significantly decrease, the content of DHA acid in yolk to double its amount, and the n-6/n-3 ratio to decrease 3-4 times, what is very important as regards the nutritional and technological value of eggs.
Four different omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) sources (flaxseed, Isochrysis galbana, fish oil and DHA Gold) were supplemented to the diet of laying hens in such a way that the same amount of extra n-3 PUFA (120 mg per 100 g feed) was added to the diet and enrichment of egg yolk with n-3 PUFA was monitored. The obtained n-3 long chain (LC)-PUFA enrichment was not as efficient for all n-3 PUFA sources. The lowest enrichment efficiency (≈6%) was observed when flaxseed (α-linolenic acid source) was supplemented. Drastically higher n-3 LC-PUFA enrichment efficiencies were observed with supplementation of the n-3 LC-PUFA sources. However, for the n-3 LC-PUFA sources (fish oil, I. galbana and DHA Gold) differences in enrichment efficiencies were observed (≈55%, ≈30% and ≈45%, respectively), mainly because of different bio-accessibility of the n-3 PUFA and different n-3 PUFA profiles of the three sources.