Organoleptic evaluation of eggs produced by laying hens fed diets containing graded levels of flaxseed and vitamin E

Poult Sci. 1998 Sep;77(9):1436-40. doi: 10.1093/ps/77.9.1436.


Eighteen-week-old laying hens were fed diets containing 0, 10, or 20% ground flaxseed and 10 or 100 IU vitamin E/kg diet, in a factorial arrangement. When birds were 60 wk of age, eggs were collected from various treatments and used in taste panel studies. All studies involved freshly boiled eggs. In Experiment 1, four separate panels were conducted to obtain information on egg aroma, egg flavor, presence of any off-flavor, and overall acceptability of the egg. Pooled data showed a very significant difference among panelists for all attributes tested (P < 0.01) and off-flavors were detected in eggs from hens fed 10 and 20% flaxseed with 10 mg vitamin E/kg. In Experiment 2 panelists were asked to evaluate egg aroma, yolk flavor, and overall acceptability in eggs from birds fed the lowest level of vitamin E with 0 or 10% flaxseed, and birds fed 20% flaxseed and 10 or 100 mg vitamin E/kg. The highest ratings for egg aroma, yolk flavor, and overall acceptability were for the control eggs. There was a significant reduction in overall acceptability as flaxseed concentration increased (P < 0.05) and an interesting and significant (P < 0.05) decline in overall acceptability for birds fed 100 vs 10 IU vitamin E/kg diet in eggs for birds fed 20% flaxseed. In a third study, there was an indication of preference for eggs from birds not fed flaxseed, when the diet contained 10, rather than 100 IU vitamin E/kg diet. These data suggest that high (> 10%) levels of flaxseed used in the bird's diet will result in some decrease in overall egg acceptability as assessed by aroma and flavor. These effects seem to be accentuated by using high levels of vitamin E in the bird's diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants
  • Chickens*
  • Diet*
  • Eggs*
  • Female
  • Flax*
  • Food Technology*
  • Odorants
  • Oviposition
  • Taste
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E