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Corn-fed chicken – A ‘golden’ source of vitamin A: Food safety expert Dr. Krishanthi Premaratne

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 16 February 2018 00:00

According to sensory evaluations, colour and appearance are two key characteristics that influence the consumer preference for food. All over the world golden yolk eggs are most preferred, as the colour is synonymous with good health and high nutritious value. Similarly, golden yellow chicken meat is deemed healthier and of premium quality by the discerning consumer.   

However, this is a new concept for Sri Lankan consumers who have been used to purchasing pinkish or pale colour chicken which is mainly derived from broilers fed on rice or a wheat-based diet. The yellow colour of the meat is because the chickens are bred on a diet rich in corn which is a natural feed ingredient. 

According to food safety expert and lecturer at the Wayamba University of Sri Lanka Dr. KrishanthiPremarathne, “yellow or golden” in chicken meat is mainly due to the presence of a natural colourant named Carotenoids. Corn is a primary natural source of carotenoids that have been used in feed over the past several decades. 

Carotenoids are one of the two forms of Vitamin A required by the human body but cannot be self-produced and therefore has to be obtained via diet.  Apart from being a precursor to vitamin A and pigmentation, carotenoids play a vital role as an antioxidant, in the visual cycle and regulation of many developmental and physiological processes that are vital for boosting immune system and are key to maintaining good health. Further, Vitamin A rich food  are typically yellow in colour and A is the vitamin that is responsible for strengthening bones, maintaining healthy and clear skin. Another unique feature about corn-fed chicken is the buttery taste when prepared. 

Crysbro which is a home-grown company synonymous with taste and quality takes pride in being one of the pioneers in promoting corn-fed chicken in the country and is opposed to usage of antibiotic growth promoters that the government is currently taking steps to phase out under the National Strategic Plan for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance in Sri Lanka.  

Established in 1972 with just 100 chicks and a vision to become a market leader in terms of quality, freshness and innovation, Crysbro has grown at a steady pace and in the decades since, has emerged as Sri Lanka’s first and most sophisticated, fully vertically integrated poultry producer with operations spanning grand-parent, parent farms, hatcheries, broilers and feed mills. 

This thriving ‘Farm-to-Fork’ concept has been at the core of the company’s success, and which in turn has provided unprecedented support for numerous stakeholders including direct and indirect employees, out growers, domestic maize farmers, and ultimately, the Sri Lankan consumer.

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