This study was carried out to determine the effects of dietary mixtures of moringa (Moringa oleifera) leaves and broiler finisher (M-BF) [moringa leaves, broiler finisher and crushed maize (M-BF-CM); broiler finisher and crushed maize (BF-CM); and broiler finisher (BF)] on antioxidative potential and physico-chemical characteristics of breast meat from broilers. Antioxidant activity (AA), ultimate pH (pHu), lightness (L*), redness (a*), yellowness (b*), Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and cooking loss (CL) were determined in breast meat samples from each group. The AA of the extract was evaluated using ferric reducing power and the radical scavenging activity against 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2’-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic-acid) (ABTS). Total phenols, flavonoids and proanthocyanidins contents of breast meat were also determined. Similarly, the in vivo antioxidant activity of the extract was evaluated in meat by determining the activity of glutathione (GSH), catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lipid peroxidation. Moringa fed samples exhibited the highest phenolics (15.5 ± 0.22 mg/g tannic acid equivalent) and flavonoids (29.9 ± 0.32 mg/g tannic acid equivalent) content. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) observed on the broiler slaughter weight (SLW), pHu, CL, a* and b* in all the meat samples. The highest carcass weight (CW), and L* values were observed in breast samples of M-BF-CM and M-BF, respectively. These findings suggest that moringa supplementation could result in free radicals inhibition, thus enhancing the oxidative stability of meat without having effects on the physico-chemical characteristics of meat.
Key words: Moringa, broiler meat quality, polyphenols, lipid oxidation, enzymes.
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