The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of dietary vitamin E on growth performance, cellular immunity, carcass characteristics, and meat quality in geese. Sixty-four one-day-old male geese were selected from 1200 goose chicks with the same average body weight (92.5 ± 2.5 g) and subjected to two treatments (basal diet or control and basal diet plus 120 mg/kg vitamin E supplement) with 4 replicates (8 geese per replicate) for 8 weeks. After slaughter, goose meat was aerobically packed in polyethylene packages and stored at 4 °C for 9 days. The results showed that vitamin E supplementation improved the growth performance, carcass yield percentage, and immune response of goose (P < 0.05). The addition of vitamin E in the diet significantly increased the protein and fat content of goose meat but decreased the moisture and ash content with respect to those obtained from the control diet. During storage, meat from the vitamin E treatment showed higher phenolic content and lower thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARSs) and total volatile nitrogen (TVB-N) values than those from the control treatment. Vitamin E supplementation increased the saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in goose meat. However, goose meat supplemented with vitamin E displayed a significantly (P < 0.05) higher PUFA/SFA ratio than those of the control group. Based on the results, it was concluded that vitamin E could be used to improve the growth performance of goose, the meat composition in terms of the protein and fat content, the nutritional value in terms of the fatty acid composition, and the shelf life.
Keywords: TBARS; carcass quality; fatty acid; growth performance; immune system; vitamin E.