The effect of fermented buckwheat on producing l-carnitine- and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-enriched designer eggs

J Sci Food Agric. 2017 Jul;97(9):2891-2897. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8123. Epub 2016 Nov 29.


Background: The potential of fermented buckwheat as a feed additive was studied to increase l-carnitine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in designer eggs. Buckwheat contains high levels of lysine, methionine and glutamate, which are precursors for the synthesis of l-carnitine and GABA. Rhizopus oligosporus was used for the fermentation of buckwheat to produce l-carnitine and GABA that exert positive effects such as enhanced metabolism, antioxidant activities, immunity and blood pressure control.

Results: A novel analytical method for simultaneously detecting l-carnitine and GABA was developed using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and LC/MS/MS. The fermented buckwheat extract contained 4 and 34 times more l-carnitine and GABA respectively compared with normal buckwheat. Compared with the control, the fermented buckwheat extract-fed group showed enriched l-carnitine (13.6%) and GABA (8.4%) in the yolk, though only l-carnitine was significantly different (P < 0.05). Egg production (9.4%), albumen weight (2.1%) and shell weight (5.8%) were significantly increased (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in yolk weight, and total cholesterol (1.9%) and triglyceride (4.9%) in the yolk were lowered (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Fermented buckwheat as a feed additive has the potential to produce l-carnitine- and GABA-enriched designer eggs with enhanced nutrition and homeostasis. These designer eggs pose significant potential to be utilized in superfood production and supplement industries. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: GABA; Rhizopus oligosporus; buckwheat; designer egg; fermentation; l-carnitine.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Carnitine / analysis
  • Carnitine / metabolism*
  • Chickens / metabolism*
  • Eggs / analysis*
  • Fagopyrum / chemistry*
  • Fagopyrum / metabolism
  • Fagopyrum / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Food Additives / chemistry*
  • Food Additives / metabolism
  • Rhizopus / metabolism*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analysis
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Food Additives
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Carnitine