Laying hens are known to be able to “bio-convert” health-promoting components from the diet into eggs. Wheat and corn are important sources of antioxidant phenolics in the human diet. Given the fact that wheat and corn are major feed ingredients of laying hens in Canada, the objectives of this study were to characterise the presence of novel phenolic compounds in egg yolk and to determine the effect of cooking methods on their content and activity. The total phenolic content of yolk extracts was 3.83 and 3.49 μmol gallic acid equivalents/g dry yolk for wheat-based and corn-based yolks, respectively. Antioxidant properties of yolk extracts were measured by the ORAC, DPPH and ABTS assays. ORAC values were 151.1 ± 26.1 and 155.9 ± 9.5 μmol TE/g for wheat-based and corn-based yolks, respectively. All cooking methods significantly reduced (p < 0.05) the antioxidant values. Ferulic acid was detected in trace amounts and no other phenolic compounds were found. However, tryptophan and tyrosine were found to be two main contributors to the antioxidant property of egg yolk. The contents of total free amino acids were 10081.0 and 10009.5 μg/g in wheat-based and corn-based yolks, respectively; cooking methods were found to reduce significantly the amount of free amino acids.
Free aromatic amino acids in egg yolk show antioxidant properties. Nimalaratne C, Lopes-Lutz D, A Schieber et al. (2011) Food Chemistry 129 (1): 155-61