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The role of total fats, saturated/unsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol content in chicken meat as cardiovascular risk factors

Dragan Milićević1*, Danijela Vranić1, Zoran Mašić2, Nenad Parunović1, Dejana Trbović1, Jelena Nedeljković-Trailović3 and Zoran Petrović1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology, Kaćanskog 13, 11040 Belgrade, Serbia

2 Scientific Veterinary Institute “Novi Sad” Rumenički put 20, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia

3 Department of Animal nutrition and botany, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine - University of Belgrade, 18 Bulevar oslobođenja, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

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Lipids in Health and Disease 2014, 13:42  doi:10.1186/1476-511X-13-42

Published: 3 March 2014



The objective of the study was to present information about the chemical composition, the fatty acids profile, and cholesterol content of chicken meat in order to investigate the impact of chicken meat consumption on cardiovascular risk in the general population.


A total of 48 6-wk-old broiler chickens broilers from two farms in June to November of 2012, and February of 2013, were used in this trial. Total lipid content was determined by extraction of fat by petrol ether (Soxhlet) after acid hydrolysis of samples. Fatty acids were determined by capillary gas chromatography. Cholesterol determination was performed by using HPLC/PDA system.


The results indicate that the total free cholesterol content in raw breast and drumstick of chickens was in the range of 37,41–79,9 mg/100 g and 48,35-99,5 mg/100 g, respectively. The main fatty acids identified in all cuts were C18:1c9, C18:2n6, C16:0, C18:0, and C16:1. Decreasing the dietary n-6/n-3 clearly decreased the content in breast and drumstick muscle of C18:2n6, C18:3n3, and C20: 3n6, but increased that of C16:0, C18:0, and C20:2. Also, the major saturated fatty acid (SFA) (C16:0 and C18:0) was significantly differ among the four treatments.


Our study shows that dietary fat and fatty acid composition influence the concentrations of total cholesterol content, total fat content, and fatty acid composition in broiler muscle. This information will aid in determining the burden of chicken meat as a cardiovascular risk factors disease and act as a planning tool for public-health Programmes.

Chicken meat; Cholesterol; Fatty acids; Cardiovascular risk