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Nutrients 2016, 8(12), 777;

Validation of Folate-Enriched Eggs as a Functional Food for Improving Folate Intake in Consumers

Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Cromore Road, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 26 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue B-Vitamins and One-Carbon Metabolism)
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Functional foods enriched with folate may be beneficial as a means of optimizing folate status in consumers. We recently developed novel eggs enriched with folate through folic acid supplementation of the hen’s feed, but their potential to influence consumer folate status is unknown because the natural folate forms incorporated into the eggs may not necessarily be retained during storage and cooking. This study aimed to determine the stability of natural folates in folate-enriched eggs under typical conditions of storage and cooking. Total folate was determined by microbiological assay following tri-enzyme treatment in folate-enriched eggs and un-enriched (barn and free-range) on the day they were laid, after storage (up to 27 days) and after using four typical cooking methods (boiling, poaching, frying, scrambling) for different durations. On the day of laying, the folate content of enriched eggs was found to be significantly higher than that of un-enriched barn or free-range eggs (mean ± SD; 123.2 ± 12.4 vs. 41.2 ± 2.8 vs. 65.6 ± 18.5 µg/100 g; p < 0.001). Storage at refrigerator and room temperature for periods up to the Best Before date resulted in no significant losses to the folate content of folate-enriched eggs. Furthermore, folate in enriched eggs remained stable when cooked by four typical methods for periods up to the maximum cooking time (e.g., 135 ± 22.5, 133.9 ± 23.0 and 132.5 ± 35.1; p = 0.73, for raw, scrambled for 50 s and scrambled for 2 min, respectively). Thus, natural folates in folate-enriched eggs remain highly stable with little or no losses following storage and cooking. These findings are important because they demonstrate the feasibility of introducing folate-enriched eggs into the diet of consumers as functional foods with enriched folate content. Further studies will confirm their effectiveness in optimizing the biomarker folate status of consumers. View Full-Text
Keywords: folate-enriched eggs; folate stability; food folate analysis; novel foods; functional foods folate-enriched eggs; folate stability; food folate analysis; novel foods; functional foods

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Altic, L.; McNulty, H.; Hoey, L.; McAnena, L.; Pentieva, K. Validation of Folate-Enriched Eggs as a Functional Food for Improving Folate Intake in Consumers. Nutrients 2016, 8, 777.

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