The Profile of Abundant and Essential Fatty Acids in Depot Fat Varies More in Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) than in Other Avian Species


Direct and dendrographic comparison of the profiles of abundant fatty acids in depot fat was unable to separate 10 avian species on a basis of their overall proportions but was able to distinguish broad dietary groups or those in a habitat with distinctive nutritional characteristics such as avian marine carnivores. In all species considered, including North Island brown kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), oleic (C18:1) and palmitic acids (C16:0) were most abundant. The relative proportions of linolenic (C18:3) acid were 4% or lower across all species, while the relative proportions of palmitoleic acid (C18:0) were less than 7% in nine of the avian species, with the exception being the insectivorous red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceous). The levels of linoleic acid (C18:2) were lower in avian marine carnivores than in avian herbivores, insectivores, and omnivores. Whilst the mean values of the individual fatty acids in fat from various avian species were separated by hierarchical cluster analysis, the wide range of values of each fatty acid precluded any correlation of clustering with any known variation in dietary items. Similarly, the wide range in fatty acid composition of kiwi fat rendered it unhelpful in determining the optimum composition of the captive diet.

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M. Potter, C. Minson and R. Lentle, "The Profile of Abundant and Essential Fatty Acids in Depot Fat Varies More in Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) than in Other Avian Species," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 9A, 2013, pp. 158-164. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.49A1023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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