Comparison of fatty acid profiles of edible meat, adipose tissues and muscles between cocks and capons
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The effect of caponisation on fat composition by parts (wing, breast, thigh, and drumstick) and tissues (skin, subcutaneous adipose tissue, intermuscular adipose tissue and muscle) was examined in the present study and fatty acid profiles of abdominal fat and edible meat by parts and tissue components were determined. The sample was made up of twenty-eight castrated and twenty male Penedesenca Negra chicks reared under free-range conditions and slaughtered at 28 wk of age; the birds were castrated at four or eight weeks. Caponisation significantly increased (P < 0.01) the chemical fat content in all parts (16.31% to 37.98% in breast; 21.98% to 34.13% in wing; 21.09% to 49.57% in thigh; 14.33% to 24.82% in drumstick) and led to minor modifications in fat haracteristics, particularly in the thigh and the drumstick, where the unsaturated vs. saturated fatty acid ratio increased from 1.31 to 1.76 ( P < 0.01) and from 1.48 to 2.07 (P < 0.01), respectively. Delaying the age of castration from 4 to 8 weeks increased this ratio by 0.35 in the edible meat. Even though the profile of the abdominal fat is less saturated in capons, all changes occurring on fat quality after caponisation indicate that increased fatness after castration does not imply worse fat nutritional properties.