In this study, the effect of the halved dosage of RRR-d-α-tocopherol (with respect to dl-α-to-copherol acetate) in diets containing oil rich in linoleic or α-linolenic acid (soybean or linseed oil, respectively) on the quality characteristics and fatty acid (FA) profile of turkey meat was studied. The experiment was conducted using 480 one-week-old turkey hens Big 6 line reared until the 16th week of life. The hens in Groups I and II received soybean oil added to their feed mixture, in Groups III and IV linseed oil was the source of supplementary fat. Turkeys in Groups I and III received dl-α-tocopherol acetate, whereas those in Groups II and IV RRR-d-α-tocopherol. No influence of dietary manipulation was observed on the chemical composition of turkey meat. The combined effect of the type of dietary fat and vitamin E source added to the feed was assessed using the color parameters. The addition of natural vitamin E to the feed mixture with linseed oil significantly increased the proportion of PUFA in breast muscle lipids compared with the group receiving soybean oil with this form of vitamin E. The inclusion of linseed oil increased the content of α-linolenic acid and total n-3 FA concentration in both muscles, compared with the diet that contained soybean oil. This modification of FA composition led to lower n-6/n-3 ratio in both the breast and thigh muscles regardless of the dietary vitamin E source. The use of natural form of tocopherol in diets containing linseed oil may help to improve the nutritional quality of turkey meat, especially by enhancing n-3 PUFA levels with no detrimental effect of lipid addition on the chemical composition and quality of meat.
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