Bioavailability of encapsulated pigment from self-emulsifiable microemulsion in egg yolk pigmentation trial

Winston Leow, David Tey and Wong Yee Ting, Kemin ( Animal Nutrition and Health, Asia Pacific


A layer trial was conducted at Bangkok Animal Research Centre (BARC), Thailand, to compare the bioavailability of marigold oleoresin yellow pigment and the effect of Oro GLO™ Y Dry, Quantum GLO™ Y Dry and Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry on egg yolk pigmentation. The results showed that layers supplemented with a dietary feed treated with the new microemulsion product, Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry at 0.5 kg/t, had numerically higher Yolk Color Fan (YCF) scores compared to Quantum GLO™ Y Dry and Oro GLO™ 20 Dry at the 1 kg/t inclusion rate of carotenoids. The YCF scores of Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry, Quantum GLO™ Y Dry, and Oro GLO™ 20 Dry were 6.45, 6.33, and 5.95, respectively, after the pigment supplementation diet for 6 weeks. There were no significant differences in YCF score after feeding 1 kg/t Oro GLO™ 20 Dry (positive control) against 0.4 kg/t Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry, which has 20% lower xanthophylls content compared to Oro GLO™ 20 Dry. The lutein content of eggs supplemented with Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry at 0.5 kg/t has the highest level at 4.62 mg/kg, followed by eggs supplemented by Quantum GLO™ Y Dry at 1 kg/t with 3.94 mg/kg and Oro GLO™ 20 Dry at 1 kg/t at 3.61 mg/kg. The Lutein content of Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry at 0.4 kg/t with 3.75 mg/kg was comparable to the lutein content of Oro GLO™ Y Dry at 1 kg/t treatment. The lutein results and the bioavailability evaluation showed that the new microemulsion Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry enhanced the lutein absorption in the birds. These results indicated that the new pigment with microemulsion formulation has higher bioavailability compared to the Oro GLO™ 20 Dry without any adverse effect on feed conversion ratio (FCR), egg production, egg weight, mortality and feed intake.


Yolk color is one of the important factors for the customer's acceptance of poultry eggs. Since birds are unable to synthesize carotenoids biologically, carotenoid pigments are widely used to supplement layer feed for yolk color enhancement. Marigolds and paprika oleoresins are usually the sources of carotenoids, and free carotenoids are produced by the saponification of marigolds and paprika oleoresins. The fortified carotenoids absorbed by the birds through the intestine are metabolized and deposited into the egg yolk. The intensity of the yolk color is correlated to the degree of carotenoids absorbed from the feed.1-4 However, these natural materials (marigold and paprika oleoresins) have become commodities and are highly susceptible to price fluctuations in the market. Here, we report a new self-emulsifying microemulsion base incorporating higher actives concentrate with minimum water content at a more cost-effective formulation. The new product, Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry, was developed with a total xanthophyll content of 40 g/kg to enhance the bioavailability and solubility of the yellow pigment.



Two hundred (200) layers of a commercial strain (Hy-Line brown) were allocated to 5 groups, each with 5 replications using 8 birds as an experimental unit. A practical diet was formulated, including different doses of pigment products and without the inclusion of the pigment diet used as the control diet. The pigmentation efficacies of Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry at two different doses, 50% and 40%, were compared against Oro GLO™ 20 Dry and Quantum GLO™ Y Dry. These products were used in a layer trial conducted at Bangkok Animal Research Center Co. Ltd, (BARC), Bangkok, Thailand. In this trial, the Yolk Color Fan (YCF) scores were collected, and the amount of lutein in the blood serum was analyzed. Additionally, egg production, health status, FCR, egg size, and mortality rate were monitored. After the pigment supplementation for 6 weeks, the yolk color fan score, egg production, egg weight, feed intake, and FCR of different trea™ents were determined. The results are presented in Table 1.


The above table showed that feeding pigment products in birds showed a clear effect of pigmentation in the egg yolk color with no adverse health impact on the birds, such as FCR, egg production, egg weight, mortality, and feed intake. At the end of the trial, egg yolk samples were collected, and lutein content analysis was done using HPLC. The lutein content of the different samples is shown in Figure 1.

Finally, the eggs were collected, and pictures of the yolk color for all treatments are depicted in Figure 2. From these pictures, clear differences could be observed for the yolk color between the control and eggs from birds treated with Oro GLO™ 20 Dry at 1 kg/t, Quantum GLO™ Y Dry at 1 kg/t, Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry at 0.5 kg/t, and Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry at 0.4 kg/t.


The layers trial results showed that dietary feed treated with Quantum GLO™ 40Y Dry at 0.5 kg/ton laid eggs have significantly higher YCF scores as compared to Oro GLO™ 20 Dry and Quantum GLO™ Y Dry at the same inclusion rate of carotenoids. Additionally, the treatment groups where the feed diets were supplemented with Oro GLO™ Dry at 1 kg/ton, and Quantum GLO™ 40 Y dry at 0.4 kg/ton showed no significant differences in YCF score. The lutein analysis results of Oro GLO™ Y dry and Quantum GLO™ 40 Y also showed a similar trend in lutein content in egg yolk. It indicates the new microemulsion base improved the bioavailability of carotenoids. The inclusion of microemulsion improves lutein absorption and its delivery through intestinal cells to egg yolk efficiently. This can be explained by the fact that the pigment emulsified with the new microemulsion base is converted into microparticles that enhance the bioavailability of the pigment, which results in higher deposition of carotenoids in egg yolks.

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Article made possible through the contribution of Winston Leow, David Tey and Wong Yee Ting