Effects of carotenoids from lucerne, marigold and tomato on egg yolk pigmentation and carotenoid composition.

F Karadas*, E Grammenidis, PF Surai, T Acamovic, NH Sparks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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1. The effects of various sources of natural carotenoids (Px alfalfa concentrate, tomato powder and marigold extract) as feed additives in quail diets on egg yolk pigmentation and carotenoid composition were investigated.
2. Adult Japanese quail were fed one of 5 different diets for 23 d: three diets each contained Px alfalfa concentrate (PX) or tomato powder (TP) or marigold extract (MG), one diet contained marigold extract and tomato powder (MG + TP) and a control diet (wheat/barley based) was low in carotenoid. All products were added at a rate of 2%, apart from marigold extract which was added at a rate of 0·2%.
3. Visual assessment of yolk colour (Roche colour fan) showed a stabilised yolk colour of 1·6, 7·7, 8·5, 8·8 and 10·6 for the control, PX, TP, MG and MG + TP treatments, respectively.

4. The total carotenoid concentration of the egg yolks were 2·2, 22·4, 4·1, 39·0 and 37·7 µg/g for the experimental groups fed the following diets: control, PX, TP, MG and MG + TP, respectively. Deposition of retinol, α-tocopherol and γ-tocopherol in the egg yolk was unaffected by treatments.
5. Lutein was shown to be the major carotenoid in the egg yolk, comprising 1·65, 17·97, 2·03, 31·14 and 28·57 µg/g in control, PX, TP, MG and MG + TP, respectively. Inclusion of TP in the quail diet resulted in lycopene transfer to the egg.
6. It was concluded that, in comparison with the control group, there was an increase in the yolk concentrations of lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene and β-carotene in eggs produced by female quail fed diets supplemented with natural carotenoids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-566
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPrint publication - Oct 2006


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