Effects of dietary Spirulina on meat colour in muscle of broiler chickens

M. Toyomizu, K. Sato, H. Taroda, T. Kato, Y. Akiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


1. The present study was undertaken to determine the effects of dietary spirulina on growth performance and pigmentation in the muscle of growing broiler chickens and to examine the possibility that zeaxanthin in spirulina may affect yellow colour development in the meat. 2. Twenty-four, 21-d-old, male broiler chicks were fed an experimental diet containing spirulina at 0, 40, or 80 g/ kg for 16 d. No significant differences among treatments were observed in body weights, nor weights or yields (as a percentage of body weight) for any of the selected traits, including liver, abdominal fat, kidney and Pectoralis profundus. 3. Spectrocolourimetric analyses revealed that the redness of Pectoralis superficialis, profundus and Sartorius muscles reached a maximum in chicks fed the 40 g/kg spirulina diet, while the yellowness of all fillets, including the Semitendinosus muscle, increased in a sub-linear fashion with increased spirulina in the diet. The overall correlation between the yellowness and zeaxanthin content in the Pectoralis muscle was significant. 4. This study provides the first conclusive evidence that dietary spirulina influences both the yellowness and redness of broiler flesh and that the increments in yellowness with dietary spirulina content may possibly be reflected in the common yellow pigment related to the accumulation of zeaxanthin within the flesh.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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