This study determined the antioxidant activity of Capsicum frutescens powder and its effect on sensory and carcass characteristics of local chickens fed with either cotton seed cake or sunflower seed diets for thirty seven days. The birds were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments (0%, 1.1%, 2.2%, and 4.4%) of C. frutescens powder. For cotton seed cake diets, 15 birds were replicated thrice per treatment whereas the replication was twice for sunflower seed cake diets. The antioxidant activity scores based on DPPH radical scavenging activity at concentrations 100, 200, 400, and 500 ug/mL were 17.1, 20.8, 29.8, and 33.3%, respectively. Further, sunflower diets with 2.2% inclusion level increased carcass yield with respect to heart weight (4g, p=0.01), proventriculus weight (4.25g, p=0.02) and intestine weight (82.5g, p=0.01). In contrast, no improvement but negative effects were observed when C. frutescens was included in cotton seed cake diets. Furthermore, results showed that none of the inclusion levels of C. frutescens had an effect on texture, taste, juiciness and overall acceptability of chicken meat. This study suggests that the carcass yield of local chicken can be improved through including C. frutescens at a level of 2.2% in diets constituted with sunflower seed cake.
Keywords: flavor, taste, texture, performance, sunflower