The objective of this study was to determine the enrichment levels of chicken eggs with the inclusion of varying levels of flaxseed oil in layer diet. As part this study, a preliminary trial was conducted to assess the potential of an indigenous seed in Ghana as a source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Oils from egusi (melon seeds) and werewere (neri seeds) seeds were extracted and omega-3 and omega-6 content evaluated using the Gas Chromatography technique. Following the results, 80 commercial Lohmann tradition layers (n=20 per treatment) were randomly allotted to 4 dietary treatments with varying levels of flaxseed oil (control (0%), 1.5%, 3% and 4.5%) from 39 weeks of age of layers until 70 weeks. Individual omega-3 and omega-6-fatty acids were extracted from the egg yolk beginning 41 to 70 weeks and analysed using Gas Chromatography technique. Egg quality was also determined as the level of flaxseed oil increased in the diet in addition to storage duration of eggs over a period of 14 days. At 70 weeks of production, 5 birds from each treatment were randomly selected, euthanized by cervical dislocation and dissected for evidence of fatty liver haemorrhage syndrome. The data was analysed using the SAS Proc. GLM procedure and ls means separated by the PDIFF procedure of SAS at P < 0.05. The results showed that both egusi and werewere contained 61.18% and 54.03% linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) respectively but both had no trace of omega 3 fatty acids. By substituting feed ingredients such as maize, soyabean meal and fishmeal in layer diet with 3% flaxseed oil, there was about 0.2 mg/ml deposition of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids deposited chicken eggs. The level of deposition of omega 3 (n;3 PUFA) and omega 6 (n;6 PUFA) in the 3% inclusion of flaxseed oil was 2.58 fold higher than the control which had no flaxseed oil. For individual n-3 PUFA levels, the fold increases from control diet to the 3% oil inclusion were: 18:3 n-3 (α-linolenic acid, (ALA) = 1.55; 20:3 n-3 (Eicosatrienoic acid, (ETA) = 16.79; 20:5 n-3 (Eicosapentaenoic acid, (EPA) = 0.15; 22:3 n-3 (Docosatrienoic acid) = 27.81; 22:5 n-3 (Docosapentaenoic acid, (DPA) = 1.6; and 22:6 n-3 (Docosahexaenoic acid, (DHA) = 3.22. Haugh unit value, which is a measure of protein quality in the albumen of eggs was 81.2 in the 3% flaxseed oil group compared to the rest of the treatment (Control (81.0), 1.5 (79.9) and 4.5 (80.8). The treatment with 4.5% flaxseed oil had heavier (P <0 .05="" 0.96="" 1.5="" 14="" 3="" 63.81g="" 97.15="" a="" albumen="" ambient="" an="" and="" carbon="" compared="" days="" dioxide="" effect="" egg="" eggs.="" eggs="" from="" g="" in="" increasing="" indication="" little="" loss="" moisture="" of="" ontrol="" over="" period="" quality="" r="" reduction="" rest="" storage="" stored="" strong="" temperature="" the="" there="" to="" was="" weight="" were="" when="" with="" y="-2.3444x"> 0.05), of feeding treatments on egg quality. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in live weight of birds, liver weight and abdominal fat weight between the treatments. The treatments with 3% and 4.5% flaxseed oil had higher (P < 0.05) liver haemorrhage score compared to 1.5% flaxseed oil inclusion and control. This could mean continuously feeding of birds on high amount of the oil diets and PUFA impact the health of the birds negatively. However, there were no mortalities associated with the haemorrhage score. Therefore, further studies should examine the optimum interval to ensure proper egg enrichment without jeopardizing the health of the birds.


1.1 General Objective
1.2 Specific Objectives

2.1.1 Challenges of the Poultry Industry Poultry Feeds and Feed Ingredients Price Demand and Supply of Poultry Products Trends of Layer Production in Ghana
2.2.1 Flaxseed Chemical Composition of Flax Seed
2.2.2 Egusi (Melon) and Werewere (Neri) Seeds Chemical composition of Egusi
2.3.1 Essential Fatty Acids Metabolism
2.3.2 Fatty Acid Composition in Chicken Eggs
2.3.3 Health Benefits of Consuming n: 3 Fatty Acids
2.5.1 Egg Weight
2.5.2 Egg Yolk Weight
2.5.3 Egg White Quality
2.5.4 Albumen Weight
2.5.5 Eggshell Quality

3.1 Experiment One: Egg production and consumption patterns in some selected Municipalities in Ghana
3.1.1 Data Collection
3.1.2 Data Processing
3.2 Experiment Two: The potential of two local seeds (Egushi and Werewere) as sources of PUFA for egg enrichment
3.2.1 Proximate Composition and Amino Acid Determination
3.2.2 Fatty Acids Determination
3.3 Experiment Three: Comparative analysis of essential fatty acids deposited in eggs through layer hen diet
3.3.1 Experimental Diet and Experimental Design
3.3.2 The N:3 and N:6 Fatty Acid Determination
3.4 Experiment Four: Effect on egg storage on egg quality characteristics of n:3 fortified egg
3.4.1 Experimental Site and Design
3.5 Experiment Five: Assessing the effects of n:3 fortified diets on fatty liver haemorrhage syndrome as stress of treatments on bird
3.5.1 Sampling
3.6 Statistical Analysis

4.1 Experiment One: Egg production and consumption patterns in some selected Municipalities in Ghana
4.1.1 Demographic Characteristics of Producers
4.1.2 Demographic Characteristics of Egg Sellers
4.1.3 Demographic Characteristics of Consumers
4.1.4 Quality Characteristics of Eggs as Food among Consumers in the Municipalities
4.1.4 Flock Size, Egg Production and Market of Eggs of the Various Municipalities Ewutu-Senya Municipality
Flock size Sehwi Wiaso Municipality
Flock size
Egg Sold per Week Ejisu Juabeng Municipality
Flock size and egg production per week
Eggs Sold Per Week Asuogyaman Municipality
Flock Size
Egg Production Per Week Teshie Municipality
Flock Size and Egg Production Per Week
Egg Sold Per Week Yegi Municipality
Flock Size and Egg Production Per Week
Egg Sold Per Week Shai Osudoku Municipality
Flock Size
Eggs Sold per Week in the Shai – Osudoku Municipality
4.2.1 Proximate Composition of Egusi and Neri Seeds
4.2.2. Amino Acid Profile of Egusi and Werewere
4.2.3 Fatty Acid Profile of Egusi and Neri Seeds
4.3.1 N:3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content of Eggs
4.3.2 N:6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content of Eggs
4.4.1 Effects of Incorporating Flaxseed Oil in Layer Diet and Egg Storage Duration in Ambient Temperature on Egg Quality Assessment
4.5.1 Effects of Flaxseed Oil Diet on the Health of Laying Birds

5.1 Conclusion
5.2 Recommendation

Egg is generally considered a complete food since it is an excellent source of easily digestible proteins, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and fatty acids and form part of proper nutrition for all ages, especially, children (Song and Kerver, 2000; Ayim-Akonor and Akonor, 2014). Poultry eggs (i.e. table eggs) are a common food and one of the versatile ingredients used in cooking nutritious foods. Nonetheless, it is noticed that egg consumption is declining worldwide over the years (Sumner, 2008). While this puts most poultry industries at risk with most business avenues collapsing, it is a large source of protein that is ignored especially in developing countries. The industry suffers a lot due to the early controversial reports with respect to egg cholesterol in raising human blood or serum cholesterol levels that may put human health at risk (Weggemans et al., 2001). This fear has as a result blurred this complete food from many people’s menu (Herron and Fernandez, 2004). However, many clinical researches more recently have demonstrated that serum cholesterol levels do not depend on consuming eggs (Song and Kerver, 2000; Chakrabarty et al., 2004; Fernandez, 2006; Nakamura et al., 2006; Djoussé and Gaziano, 2008; Chai et al., 2009; Scrafford et al., 2009).

Recently, some researchers Goldberg (2014) and Virtanen et al., (2016) downplayed the argument on egg cholesterol and removed eggs from among the list of foods that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, such results and recent assurances need time to mature in consumer’s minds, before leading to increase in egg consumption.

The recent campaign to increase worldwide egg intake is forcing researchers and government to explore alternative procedures of checking the cholesterogenic properties of eggs. This led to the development of designer eggs or eggs fortified with other nutrients which have become popular in Europe and North America (Manohar et al., 2007).

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are among the limited egg nutrients which are of significance to the human wellbeing, especially the omega 3 polyunsaturated unsaturated fatty acids (n:3-PUFA) and its interaction with omega 6 fatty acids for proper balance in the body (Simopoulos, 2000, Manohar et al., 2007). Since the n:3-PUFA is not synthetized in human body (Meyer et al., 2003) its fortification into eggs turned out to be an important technique in changing omega-6 (n:6) to omega-3 (n:3) proportion to the required ratio and therefore check the portion of cholesterol in eggs. The n:3 polyunsaturated unsaturated fatty acids (n:3 PUFA) have been perceived as good source of nutrient for human wellbeing (Palmquist et al., 2005) for the past few decades.

It is essential to take n:3 fatty acids during pregnancy since it plays a part in normal foetal brain development which in this manner enhances neurodevelopment (Wahlqvist, 1998). Hence deprivation during pregnancy is associated with lower development and lower behavioural scores (Coletta et al., 2010). The n:3 present in the diet of children conditions the visual and cerebral capacities, including intellectual capacity. Dietary n:3 PUFA may also play a key part to treat or eliminate various ailments such as coronary illness (Wahlqvist, 1998), mental problems (Ramakrishnan et al., 2009), prevent some neuropsychiatric disorders, especially depression, and in addition dementia, strikingly in the elderly (Bourre, 2004). These and many confirm seventeen benefits derived from n:3 PUFA (Hjalmarsdotirr, 2016). These benefits include evidence that: omega-3s can fight depression and anxiety, omega-3s can improve eye health, promote brain health during pregnancy and early life, improve risk factors for heart disease, reduce symptoms of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD) in children, fight autoimmune diseases, decrease mental disorders, fight age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s disease, help prevent cancer, improve bone and joint health, alleviate menstrual pain, may improve sleep and fats are good for the skin.

Other past researches stressed the part this important nutrient plays in human health (MacLean et al., 2006; Bernstein et al., 2008; Brunner et al., 2009; Yashodhara et al., 2009). Also n:3 PUFA can play a vital role in lowering blood viscosity and pressure, plasma triglycerides, platelet aggregation and cardiac arrhythmia (Simopoulos, 2000).

Omega-3 fatty acid eggs are eggs fortified with flax products through flax fed to laying hens. These eggs contain the essential n:3 fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), plus two other n:3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA). The n:3 enriched eggs through this procedure provide about 12 times more n:3 fatty acids than regular eggs, based on an average n:3 content of 0.5 grams in n:3 enriched eggs versus 0.04 grams in regular eggs (Morris, 2003).

The feeding value of the egg can be influenced by the formulation and composition of layer diets (Van and Huyghebaert, 1995). And this has led several interested researchers in the production of designer eggs through this mechanism. Several experiments, for most part in western nations, have been directed on enrichment of n:3 unsaturated fats in eggs and the production parameters of layers (Cherian et al., 2002; Bean and Leeson 2003; Mazalli et al., 2004; Jia et al., 2008), egg quality (Galobart et al., 2001a; Ajuyah et al., 2003; Cherian 2008), sensory evaluation (Ahn et al., 1996; Gonzalez-Esquerra and Leeson 2000; Rymer and Givens, 2005) and health benefits (Lewis et al., 2000; Narahari, 2003; Payet et al., 2004). However, no study has been accounted to date on any part of designer eggs production and their effect on egg quality and consumer’s acceptability in Ghana and for that matter Sub-Saharan Africa where this nutrition is crucially needed. Indigenous studies on this research is vital as accessibility of feed ingredients used to produce these designer eggs are different in various regions of the World and locally accessible ingredient might give a chance of more economical generation of these designer eggs. Numerous commercial organizations are creating a few assortments of designer eggs which are accessible at a premium cost in developed countries yet their strategy for production stays patent and sometimes as a business mystery which are not available for repetition. Hence this research seeks to add new information to the development of n:3 designer eggs in Ghana.

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Item Type: Ghanaian Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 123 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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