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Comparative analysis of lipophilic compounds in eggs of organically raised ISA Brown and Araucana hens

Adela Pintea, Francisc V. Dulf, Andrea Bunea, Cristian Matea, and Sanda Andrei

University of Agricultural Science and Veterinary Medicine, 3-5 Manastur Street, 400372 Cluj-Napoca, Romania




Hens’ eggs represent a rich source of important nutrients, including lipids and carotenoids. The lipid composition of hens’ eggs is influenced by genetic factors, age, and diet. The aim of this study was to compare the fatty acids, cholesterol, and carotenoids content of the egg yolk of ISA Brown and Araucana hens grown in free-range housing systems. Fatty acids and cholesterol were analysed by GC-FID and GC-MS and carotenoids were quantified by RP-HPLC-PDA.
The Araucana egg yolk has a higher lipid content and higher egg-to-albumen ratio than the ISA Brown yolk, while the total cholesterol, carotenoids content and profile are not significantly different. The lipids of the Araucana egg yolk have a higher content of mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and a better n-6/n-3 ratio than the ISA Brown egg yolk lipids. The major carotenoids were lutein and zeaxanthin, which account for more than 83 % in egg yolk. Eggs of both breeds, when raised organically, represent very good sources of highly bio-available lutein and zeaxanthin, pigments which are related to lower risk of age-related macular degeneration. We report for the first time on the fatty acids composition in lipid fractions and the profile and content of carotenoids of the Araucana egg yolk.

Keywords: egg – lipids – carotenoids – GC-MS – HPLC-PDA

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-012-0219-2


Chemical Papers 66 (10) 955–963 (2012)

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