High-carotenoid Maize Does Not Compromise Vitamin A Absorption in Poultry, Study
Biofortified high-carotenoid (HC)
load/biotech-crop-annual-update-maize-2016.pdf> maize is a good component of
for poultry, according to a study conducted by scientists from the
University of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center and J. W. Goethe University. The
results are published in the journal Transgenic Research.
HC maize is a
genetically engineered biofortified crop that accumulates provitamin A
carotenoids beta-carotene, beta-crytoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In the
study, HC maize was tested as feed component in a chicken feeding trial to
evaluate the bioavailability of provitamin A carotenoids in the kernel
matrix compared to the synthetic and natural color additives currently used
in the poultry industry.
Results showed that provitamin A carotenoids were not used up in similar
ways. Beta-carotene was converted into retinol in the intestine, while
beta-cryptoxanthin accumulated in the liver. They also found that chickens
fed with low concentration of zeaxanthin accumulated more retinol in the
liver, implying that zeaxanthin might have an effect on the absorption of
beta-carotene. Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that HC
maize can be used as component of poultry feeds.