Carotenoid Eggs from Layers Fed with Annatto {Bixa Orellana) Concentrate for the Health Conscious Consumer

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The difference in yolk colour of the local layer and that of the commercial layer is one of the shortcomings of eggs from commercial poultry farming apart from high cholesterol levels. The objective of this study was therefore to naturally enhance the yolk colour of commercial table eggs using annatto. Annatto concentrate (50kg feed: 50kg annatto seeds) was added at the rate of 1%(R1), 4%(R2), 7%(R3) and 10%(R4) to the feed, carophyll yellow (Ca) as additive in one treatment and feed from Agricare Ltd was used as control. Proximate composition of the various feeds was assessed using AO AG methods. Functional properties analysed included emulsion studies, foaming capacity and stability, water and oil binding capacity. Egg samples were assessed by sensory evaluation and egg yolk colour intensity was measured with the Image J software. Cholesterol content was assessed using the human-liquicolor method while antioxidant determination adopted the method of Oyaizu. The R2 composition was the optimum with the Image J analysis. Cholesterol levels were not affected (p>0.05) by inclusion of annatto in the feed. Antioxidant properties of freshly laid eggs, those stored in the fridge, cool place and in the sun showed that annatto has antioxidant activity which was transferred into the freshly laid eggs (0.127-2.501) and those obtained from the fridge (0.123-1.926) when compared to the standard antioxidant n-propyl gallate (0.161-3.079). The research shows that annatto can be applied at 1% to give generally acceptable colour intensity.