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Effect of intensive vs. free range production on the fat and fatty acid composition of whole birds and edible portions of retail chickens in the UK

By D. I. Givens, R. A. Gibbs, C. Rymer and R. H. Brown


The primary objective was to compare the fat and fatty acid contents of cooked retail chickens from intensive and free range systems. Total fat comprised approximately 14, 2.5, 8, 9 and 15 g/100 g cooked weight in whole birds, skinless breast, breast with skin, skinless leg and leg meat with skin, respectively, with no effect of intensive compared with free range systems. Free range breast and leg meat contained significantly less polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 and n-3) than did those from intensive rearing and had a consistently higher n-6/n-3 ratio (6.0 vs. 7.9). Generally, the concentrations of long chain n-3 fatty acids were considerably lower than those reported in earlier research studies. Overall, there was no evidence that meat from free range chickens had a fatty acid profile that would be classified as healthier than that from intensively reared birds and indeed, in some aspects, the opposite was the case. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.02.016
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