Growth performance, plasma metabolites, meat quality, and meat and lipid health indices of New Zealand White rabbits as affected by dietary dried tomato pomace powder supplementation during the summer season

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl). 2024 Mar 25. doi: 10.1111/jpn.13953. Online ahead of print.


One hundred and twenty New Zealand White rabbits (NZW) (5-week-old; 735.27 ± 27.23 g) were kept in an open-sided house during the summer season. The experiment aims to evaluate the impacts of dried tomato pomace powder (DTPP) supplementation on rabbits’ performance, blood metabolites, carcass traits, meat quality, and lipid and health indices of NZW rabbits during 5-13 weeks of age. The four treatments were a standard rabbit feed (control) and the control diet supplemented with 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% DTPP, respectively. Rabbits fed a diet containing 1.5% DTPP showed the highest growth rate through weeks 9-13 of age despite having the lowest feed intake spanning 5-13 weeks. The best feed conversion ratio (FCR) was recorded in rabbits fed with 1.5% DTPP-supplemented diet for 5-13 weeks. Diets supplemented with 0.5 or 1.0% DTPP enhanced markedly dressing %, total edible flesh, saturated (SFAs), monounsaturated (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) contents, as well as the ∑n – 6/∑n – 3 ratio and the total n – 6 of meat. Dietary supplementation with DTPP decreased kidney, abdominal, and back fat. Diets supplemented with DTTP decreased total cholesterol, triglycerides, and very low-density lipoprotein (vLDL) concentrations. The greatest levels of linoleic acid, arachidonic and water-holding capacity in meat were observed in rabbits fed 1.5% DTPP-supplemented diets. Diets containing 1 and 1.5% DTPP improved meats’ atherogenic and thrombogenic indices, meat lipid quality desired fatty acids/undesired fatty acids ratio, and meat health index. Conclusively, DTPP up to 1.5% maintained the growth performance of rabbits, boosted meat quality through increasing vitamin E, reduced fat deposition, modified fatty acid composition, and improved atherogenic, thrombogenic, and hypocholesterolemic indices of rabbit meat.

PMID:38528432 | DOI:10.1111/jpn.13953