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rabbit, NIR tomoscopy, oxidative stress, blood serum parameters, error AKA confusion matrix.
The aim of this study was to find a correlation between in vivo NIR scan patterns, oxidative status, and blood serum metabolites in rabbits fed diets protected or unprotected against oxidation. Rabbits does in groups of eight were fed for 9 weeks with diets containing linseed, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (LS), or linseed plus hazelnut skins, with antioxidant function (LS+HS), and palm oil, rich in saturated fatty acids (PO). The animals were examined at days 1, 31, and 63 using a smart SCÏOTM molecular sensor, a new miniaturized web-based wireless device, applied to the internal ear flap (NIR range 740-1070 nm). The hazelnut peels integrated diet protected the rabbits from the oxidative stress induced by the addition of unprotected polyunsaturated fats. NIR tomoscopy was variously correlated with serum parameters, lysozyme (R2=0.71), ROMs (0.47), cholesterol (0.49), triglycerides (0.40), and a multivariate Index of Oxidative Risk (0.67 (IOR)). The correlations suggested a close connection between the clustering of the diets according to the laboratory variables and the NIRS scan pattern clustering at the ending trial day, as shown by the highly significant odds ratios. Advantageous use of this simple, painless technique was evident in the planning phase, with no difference among the groups at the beginning of the study, but an effect size that evolved differently over time until the end of the study. In a practical validation of the SCÏOTM model in 92 commercial rabbit does, the average spread of the predicted IOR was 33% in lactating does (2.54±0.05) vs. dry does (1.91±0.07).