Vitamin E is a well-established micro-nutrient for all animal species. Vitamin E-based additives are globally used in animal nutrition to prevent vitamin E deficiency and sustain animal health and production. Vitamin E as a lipid-soluble, chain-breaking antioxidant, protects cellular membranes from lipid peroxidation preserving the structural integrity of tissues. Vitamin E has been proposed as an effective method to reduce the oxidative processes in meat. Meat oxidation is the principal reason of the quality deterioration. The primary source of vitamin E is the natural tocopherols found in green plant materials and seeds. Among the synthetic forms of vitamin E, the acetate ester of all-rac α-tocopherol (all-rac α-tocopheryl acetate) is the most common form of vitamin E supplementations, due to its cost and stability in animal feeds. The route of administration (in feed or intramuscularly injected) plays a key role in enhancing the positive effect of vitamin E treatment. Several researches have proposed the intramuscular injection of vitamin E (dl- α-tocopheryl acetate) as a strategy to: i) reduce vitamin E activity losses in feedstuffs; ii) ensure a more standardized administration in animals; iii) study its effect on growth performance, meat quality characteristics, oxidative stability and shelf life of meat products in different livestock animals. New perspective for the vitamin E supplementation in animal production regard the use of vitamin E as a feasible way to reduce the formation of carcinogenic substances in cooked meat with a consequent beneficial effect on human health.
Vitamin E, oxidative stability, meat quality