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Revista Brasileira de Ciência Avícola

Print version ISSN 1516-635XOn-line version ISSN 1806-9061


CARRIJO, AS et al. Traceability of bovine meat and bone meal in poultry by stable isotope analysis. Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic. [online]. 2006, vol.8, n.1, pp.63-68. ISSN 1516-635X.

Bovine meat and bone meal (MBM) was widely used in animal diets until outbreaks of Bovine Spongiform Encefalopathy (BSE) occurred in some countries. It has not been confirmed yet whether or not BSE may be transmitted to man through chicken meat originated from poultry that had been fed diets containing MBM. Therefore, consumers nowadays express preference for meat originated from birds fed exclusively vegetable diets. This study analyzed samples of major breast muscle (Pectoralis major) using mass spectrometry of stable isotopes (carbon and nitrogen) as a means to assess the presence of MBM in broiler diets, a technique that might be used in the certification of poultry quality. A total of 150 day-old chicks were reared in five randomized treatments with increasing MBM dietary inclusion levels (0, 1, 2, 4 and 8%). On day 42, breast muscle samples were collected from three birds per treatment and used in the determination of 13C/12C and 15N/14N isotope ratios. The breast muscle isotope values were expressed as delta in parts per thousand (d‰). The following carbon isotope values (13C) were found: 18.74‰±0.11, 18.51‰±0.19, 18.24‰±0.10, -17.79‰ ±0.12, and -17.15‰±0.15 for 0, 1, 2, 4 and 8% MBM dietary levels, respectively. Nitrogen isotope values (15N) were 1.65‰±0.14, 1.65‰±0.28, 1.72‰±0.08, 1.95‰±0.16, and 2.52‰ ± 0.09 for 0, 1, 2, 4 and 8% MBM dietary levels, respectively. This study showed important differences in d13C and d15N values in breast meat, evidencing a simultaneous enrichment of this isotopic pair, which allowed tracing MBM in bird diets. Analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes may be used to ensure feeding with exclusively vegetable diets, and might also be used as a reliable evaluation tool in broiler meat certification. The diet with 1% inclusion level of MBM and the exclusively vegetable diet showed similar results.

Keywords : Authentication; carbon-13; isotopic determination; nitrogen-15; tracer.

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