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Effect of dietary supplementation with selenium-enriched yeast or sodium selenite on selenium tissue distribution and meat quality in commercial-line turkeys

  • D. T. Juniper (a1), R. H. Phipps (a1) and G. Bertin (a2)


The objective of this study was to determine the concentration of total selenium (Se) and proportions of total Se comprised as selenomethionine (SeMet) and selenocysteine (SeCys) in the tissues of female turkeys offered diets containing graded additions of selenized-enriched yeast (SY), or sodium selenite (SS). Oxidative stability and tissue glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity of breast and thigh muscle were assessed at 0 and 10 days post mortem. A total of 216 female turkey poults were enrolled in the study. A total of 24 birds were euthanized at the start of the study and samples of blood, breast, thigh, heart, liver, kidney and gizzard were collected for determination of total Se. Remaining birds were blocked by live weight and randomly allocated to one of four dietary treatments (n = 48 birds/treatment) that differed either in Se source (SY v. SS) or dose (Con [0.2 mg/kg total Se], SY-L and SS-L [0.3 mg/kg total Se as SY and SS, respectively] and SY-H [0.45 mg total Se/kg]). Following 42 and 84 days of treatment 24 birds per treatment were euthanized and samples of blood, breast, thigh, heart, liver, kidney and gizzard were retained for determination of total Se and the proportion of total Se comprised as SeMet or SeCys. Whole blood GSH-Px activity was determined at each time point. Tissue GSH-Px activity and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances were determined in breast and thigh tissue at the end of the study. There were responses (P < 0.001) in all tissues to the graded addition of dietary Se, although rates of accumulation were highest in birds offered SY. There were notable differences between tissue types and treatments in the distribution of SeMet and SeCys, and the activity of tissue and erythrocyte GSH-Px (P < 0.05). SeCys was the predominant form of Se in visceral tissue and SeMet the predominant form in breast tissue. SeCys contents were greater in thigh when compared with breast tissue. Muscle tissue GSH-Px activities mirrored SeCys contents. Despite treatment differences in tissue GSH-Px activity, there were no effects of treatment on any meat quality parameter.


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