Addition of tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) to maize oil reduces lipid oxidation but does not prevent reductions in serum vitamin e in nursery pigs

Yuan T. Hung, Andrea R. Hanson, Pedro E Urriola, Lee J. Johnston, Brian J. Kerr, Gerald C Shurson

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7 Scopus citations


Background: Maize oil is abundantly used in foods and feeds and is highly susceptible to oxidation. Consequently, commercially available antioxidants should be evaluated for effectiveness against lipid oxidation in swine diets. Our study was conducted to evaluate growth performance of nursery pigs fed oxidized maize oil and to determine effects of using antioxidants on oxidative status in a 2 × 2 factorial design. Two hundred eight weaned pigs were blocked by initial BW into 13 blocks, resulting in 4 pigs per pen and 13 pens per treatment. Dietary treatments included 6% unoxidized or oxidized maize oil, and 0 or 60 mg/kg of tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), which was added after lipid oxidation. Data for growth performance were collected from 5 time periods of a two-phase feeding program (Phase 1 = d 0 to 12 and Phase 2 = d 13 to 34). Serum and liver samples were collected from one pig per pen, which had initial BW closest to average BW to determine oxidative status on d 34. Results: Oxidized maize oil was heated for 12 h at 185 °C with 12 L/min of air, yielding a peroxide value (PV) of 5.98 mEq O2/kg and TBARS of 0.11 mg MDA eq/g. Addition of TBHQ to diets containing oxidized maize oil decreased PV by 37% and increased the oil stability index by 69%. Final BW, ADG, ADFI, and G:F of pigs were not different among the four dietary treatments. However, pigs fed oxidized maize oil tended (P < 0.08) to increase hepatosomatic index by 5% compared with those fed unoxidized oil, and this was not affected by adding TBHQ. The serum vitamin E concentration of pigs fed oxidized maize oil was less (P < 0.03) than pigs fed unoxidized oil, but this reduction was not reversed by adding TBHQ. Finally, the serum and liver selenium concentration were not different among the treatments. Conclusions: The addition of TBHQ did not affect growth performance and vitamin E status in pigs fed moderately oxidized maize oil, but TBHQ reduced lipid oxidation, enhanced the oil stability, and appeared to reduce oxidative stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalJournal of Animal Science and Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019

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© 2019 The Author(s).


  • Growth performance
  • Lipid oxidation
  • Maize oil
  • Nursery pigs
  • TBHQ
  • Vitamin E


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