Science database

As a science-driven company, we regularly publish peer-reviewed papers to validate the research we conduct. 

Most recent publications
Poultry
The aim of the experiment was to investigate the efficacy of a smectite-based clay binder (Toxo-MX) in reducing the toxicological effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in commercial broiler chickens. A total of 450 one-day old male broiler chickens were randomly allocated into three treatment groups with ten replicates of 15 birds each in a 42-day feeding experiment. The dietary treatments included a negative control (NC, a basal diet with no AFB1 and binder), a positive control (PC, a basal diet contaminated with 500 ppb of AFB1) and a smectite-based mycotoxin binder(Toxo-MX, PC with smectite clay binder). AFB1 challenge resulted in 14 to 24% depression in growth performance, elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), organ enlargement and immuno-suppression.As compared to PC, feeding of Toxo-MX improved the final weight (15%; p < 0.0001), average daily gain (ADG) (15%; p < 0.001) and feed efficiency of broilers (13%; p < 0.0003) but did not have any effects on liver enzyme activities. Supplementation of smectite claysignificantly increased serum globulin levels and reduced the weight of the liver (p < 0.05) as compared to AFB1-fed broiler chickens. The severity of lesions (inflammatory and degenerative changes) observed in the liver, kidney, heart, pancreas, and lymphoid organs in PC birds was reduced by feeding smectite clay. The immuno-suppression caused by AFB1 was moderately ameliorated in Toxo-MX groupby stimulating the production of antibodies against IBD at day 42 (p < 0.05). In conclusion, dietary supplementation of a smectite-based mycotoxin binder to the diet containing AFB1 improved growth performance, reduced toxicological effects in liver and improved humoral immune response in broilers, suggesting its protective effect against aflatoxicosis.
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Short-chain fatty acid administration via water acidifier improves feed efficiency and modulates fecal microbiota in weaned piglets

Swine
This study examined the effect of a water acidifier containing free and buffered short-chain fatty acids (SCFA-WA) on growth performance and microbiota of weaned piglets. In total, 192 male piglets, approximately 4 wk of age, were allocated to 24 pens (12 per treatment) with 8 piglets per pen. The piglets received either regular drinking water (negative control) or drinking water with the acidifier supplied at 2 L/1,000 L. Body weight and feed intake were measured weekly on pen level. During the first 2 wk, daily visual assessment and scoring of the feces was conducted. Fecal samples of three piglets per pen were collected on days 14 and 42 for high-throughput sequencing analysis of the microbiota. Piglets offered SCFA-WA had significantly improved feed efficiency in the third week (P = 0.025) and over the whole study period (days 0 to 42, P = 0.042) compared with piglets in the negative control group, with a strong tendency observed during the first feeding phase (days 0 to 21, P = 0.055). Furthermore, the water acidifier group had a higher water intake than piglets provided with control water during the second feeding phase (days 21 to 42, P = 0.028) and over the whole study period (days 0 to 42, P = 0.043). There was no significant difference in body weight, average daily gain, or average daily feed intake (days 0 to 21, 21 to 42, 0 to 42). Furthermore, there was no overall significant difference in fecal scoring between the treatments. In terms of the fecal microbiota response, piglets offered the water acidifier showed a significantly higher relative abundance (RA) of genus Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and a lower RA of genus Streptococcus compared to the control. Furthermore, the redundancy analysis showed a positive association between improved feed efficiency and daily weight gain and RA of Butyricicoccus and Faecalibacterium. In conclusion, consumption of the water acidifier containing free and buffered SCFA modulated the microbiota and improved feed efficiency in piglets.
by M. M. Lingbeek on 16/11/2021
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Efficacy of a Synergistic Blend of Organic Acids and ß-1,4 Mannobiose on Cecal Salmonella Counts and Growth Performance in Salmonella Challenged Broiler Chickens: A Meta-Analysis

Poultry
Salmonella may cause serious diarrhea in consumers of poultry products. Control of Salmonella in poultry with antibiotics has caused antimicrobial resistance issues. Salmonella can colonize the gut of chickens, meaning that an in-feed solution may prevent infection. A synergistic blend containing organic acids and ß-1,4 mannobiose as main ingredients were developed to reach different parts of the gut. It was hypothesized that this synergistic blend decreases Salmonella contamination of chickens. Several, non-published, studies have been performed to test the effect of this synergistic blend in chickens infected with Salmonella. The results of these studies were combined into a large meta-analysis to draw conclusions regardless of study design and geographical location. This state-of-the-art statistical method did show that feeding the synergistic blend to chickens could decrease Salmonella in comparison to a control diet. This decrease was most clear during the first 14 days after initiation of the Salmonella infection. In addition, the birds did grow more efficiently when the synergistic blend was fed.
by S. J. A. van Kuijk on 17/10/2021
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Hydroxychloride trace elements improved eggshell quality partly by modulating uterus histological structure and inflammatory cytokines expression in aged laying hens

Hydroxychloride trace elements improved eggshell quality partly by modulating uterus histological structure and inflammatory cytokines expression in aged laying hens

Poultry
The objectives of this study were to investigate the effectiveness of dietary zinc, copper, and manganese hydroxychloride (HC) supplementation on performance, minerals deposition, serum parameters, eggshell ultrastructure, uterus histological structure, and inflammatory cytokines in aged hens. A total of 560 Hyline Brown layers at 62 wk of age were randomly allotted into 3 groups (CON, basal diet without extra minerals supplemented; Sulphate and HC, basal diet with sulphate or hydroxychloride zinc, copper, and manganese supplementation at levels of 80, 15, and 80 mg/kg, respectively). The trial lasted for 16 wk consisting of 4 wk depletion period and 12 wk testing period. The results indicated that dietary hydroxychloride trace elements increased egg weight (P < 0.05) when compared with CON group and improved average Haugh unit and albumen height (P < 0.05) when compared with Sulphate group from 70 to 73 wk. Trace element supplementation significantly increased eggshell strength, ceruloplasmin content in serum, and modified crystallographic structure of eggshell (P < 0.05) that included effective layer height, palisade height, mammillary layer width, and mammillary internal area ratio, but the results did not differ regarding the trace mineral sources used. Furthermore, hens fed with hydroxychloride trace element showed the highest mucosal fold height (P < 0.05) and epithelial height (P = 0.053) in eggshell gland, as well as mRNA expression of TNF-α (P < 0.05) and IL-22 (P = 0.094). It is concluded that supplementation of Zn, Cu, and Mn mixture modified eggshell quality partly through enhancing histological structure and immune responses of uterus. Hydroxychloride source of Zn, Cu, and Mn excelled sulphate in its beneficial effects for birds.
by Qiuyu Jiang on 05/10/2021
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Effect of Dietary Supplementation With Mixed Organic Acids on Immune Function, Antioxidative Characteristics, Digestive Enzymes Activity, and Intestinal Health in Broiler Chickens

Poultry
The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of dietary supplementation with mixed organic acids on intestinal health, enzyme activity, and antioxidative characteristics in broilers. A total of 192 1-day-old chicks were evenly allocated to three experimental groups with eight replicates, a basal diet with 0 (Control), 3,000 mg/kg (LMOA), 6,000 mg/kg (HMOA) mixed organic acid. The tissue and serum samples were gathered on 21 and 42 d of the experiment. An increased (P < 0.05) concentration of IgA, D-lactate (D-LA), and interleukin-10 (IL-10) in the serum of broilers diets with HMOA was observed. The levels of total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) and catalase activity (CAT) in serum were enhanced (P < 0.05) with dietary and mixed organic acid, respectively, and increased (P < 0.05) content of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and CAT in the duodenum of broilers diets with LMOA was noticed. Also, LMOA decreased (P < 0.05) the pH value of the duodenum and enhanced (P < 0.05) the amylase activity of the pancreas, the tight junction protein (mainly Claudin-1, Claudin-2, and ZO-1) in the duodenum of broilers fed with mixed organic acid were promoted (P < 0.05), and the LMOA group performed better in the small intestine. In cecum microbiota, LMOA and HMOA modulated the structure of microbiota and mainly reduced the relative abundance of Escherichia coli. In brief, dietary supplemented mixed organic acid improved the health status of broilers by promoting the immune function, enhancing the antioxidative characteristics and tight junction proteins expression as well as cecum microbiota. However, LMOA groups may be a better fit considering the comprehensive effects of experiments and economic costs.
by Jiayu Ma on 16/09/2021
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Latest Advances in Sow Nutrition during Early Gestation

Swine
In the pig, the establishment and maintenance of luteal function in early gestation is crucial to endometrial function, embryo development, and survival. The level of feed intake has a positive effect on formation of luteal tissue and progesterone secretion by the ovaries in the pre-implantation period, which is important for endometrial remodeling and secretion. These effects are independent of luteinising hormone (LH) and probably driven by metabolic cues, such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and seem to support progesterone secretion and delivery to the endometrium, the latter which occurs directly, bypassing the systemic circulation. Even after implantation, a high feed intake seems to improve embryo survival and the maintenance of pregnancy. In this stage, luteal function is LH-dependent, although normal variations in energy intake may not result in pregnancy failure, but may contribute to nutrient supply to the embryos, since in this phase uterine capacity becomes limiting. Feed incidents, however, such as unintended fasting of animals or severe competition for feed, may result in embryo or even pregnancy loss, especially in periods of seasonal infertility. Specific nutrients such as arginine have a role in the vascularisation of the placenta and can improve the uterine capacity in the period after implantation.
by P. Langendijk on 16/09/2021
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Performance and greenhouse gas emission of Nellore and F1 Angus × Nellore yearling bulls in tropical production systems during backgrounding and finishing

Ruminants
This study investigated the performance, carcass traits, and greenhouse gas emission of Nellore and F1 Angus × Nellore yearling bulls raised under two [lenient (S1) and intensified (S2)] production systems during the backgrounding and finishing phases. S1 was practiced on a 18.6 ha palisade grass pasture, divided into eight paddocks, which was not fertilized and managed using continuous stocking at a constant rate of two animals per hectare during backgrounding. Then, 20 Nellore [initial body weight (BWi), 277±13 kg; initial age, 15.2±1.1 months] and 20 F1 Angus × Nellore (BWi, 304±21 kg; initial age, 15.8±0.44 months) yearling bulls were randomly allocated to four paddocks for each breed. During finishing, animals remained on the pasture and received high supplementation (at rate of 2.0 kg•100 kg−1 BW). S2 was practiced on a 11.4 ha palisade grass pasture, divided into six paddocks, which was fertilized (150 kg N•ha−1•year−1) and managed using continuous stocking at variables rates during backgrounding. Then, 24 Nellore (BWi, 288±16 kg; initial age, 15.6±0.65 months) and 24 F1 Angus × Nellore (BWi, 325±18 kg; initial age, 15.8±0.42 months) yearling bulls were randomly allocated to three paddocks for each breed. During finishing, the bulls were moved to feedlots. During backgrounding, F1 Angus × Nellore bulls in S2 achieved the highest average daily gain (ADG) and final shrunk body weight (SBWf), whereas Nellore bulls in S1 achieved the lowest ADG and SBWf. During finishing, ADG and SBWf were greater in S2 than in S1 as well as for F1 Angus × Nellore bulls than for Nellore bulls. From the beginning of backgrounding until the end of finishing, the ribeye area of F1 Angus × Nellore bulls in S2 was larger than that of other bulls. The greatest backfat deposition occurred during finishing, resulting in greater backfat thickness of bulls in S2 than that of bulls in S1. The carbon footprint of F1 Angus × Nellore bulls in S2 (10.8 kg•CO2e•kg−1 carcass) was similar to that of Nellore bulls in S1, but it was approximately 13% and 11.5% lower than that of Nellore bulls in S2 and F1 Angus × Nellore bulls in S1, respectively. This study demonstrated that the enhancement of productivity through improving genetic merit and pasture management is a suitable strategy to reduce environmental impact and achieve environmental sustainability.
by Erick Escobar Dallantonia on 16/09/2021
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Management strategies for improving survival of piglets from hyperprolific sows

Swine
In efforts to improve profitability, sows have been subject to ongoing selection for larger litters. The current dogma is that larger litters improve sow productivity. This review, however, will question the validity of this assumption. It is inescapable that very large litters will have longer farrowing durations, lower average and more variable birth weights, and the sows will have insufficient teats available to feed their piglets. This is a recipe for increased piglet mortality with associated ethical considerations. This review will examine methods employed to address these challenges posed by larger litters in order to improve piglet survival. Producers, however, need a paradigm shift; their objective is not to produce pigs but rather to market kilograms of pork, and one does not necessarily lead to the other.
by R.N. Kirkwood on 06/09/2021
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Animal nutrition strategies and options to reduce the use of antimicrobials in animal production

Across species
Antimicrobial resistance is a global and increasing threat. Stewardship campaigns have been established, and policies implemented, to safeguard the appropriate use of antimicrobials in humans, animals, and plants. Restrictions on their use in animal production are on the agenda worldwide. Producers are investing in measures, involving biosecurity, genetics, health care, farm management, animal welfare, and nutrition, to prevent diseases and minimize the use of antimicrobials. Functional animal nutrition to promote animal health is one of the tools available to decrease the need for antimicrobials in animal production. Nutrition affects the critical functions required for host defence and disease resistance. Animal nutrition strategies should therefore aim to support these host defence systems and reduce the risk of the presence in feed and water of potentially harmful substances, such as mycotoxins, anti-nutritional factors and pathogenic bacteria and other microbes. General dietary measures to promote gastrointestinal tract health include the selective use of a combination of feed additives and feed ingredients to stabilize the intestinal microbiota and support mucosal barrier function. This knowledge, used to establish best practices in animal nutrition, could allow the adoption of strategies to reduce the need for antimicrobials and contain antimicrobial resistance.
by C. Smits on 29/07/2021
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Mixed organic acid alternative to antibiotics improves serum biochemical parameters and intestinal health of weaned piglets

Swine
The primary aim of this experiment was to critically explore the relationship between the different levels of mixed organic acids (MOA) and growth performance, serum antioxidant status and intestinal health of weaned piglets, as well as to investigate the potential possibility of MOA alternative to antibiotics growth promoters (AGP). A total of 180 healthy piglets (Duroc × [Landrace × Yorkshire]; weighing 7.81 ± 1.51 kg each, weaned at d 28) were randomly divided into 5 treatments: 1) basal diet (CON); 2) CON + chlorinomycin (75 mg/kg) + virginiamycin (15 mg/kg) + guitaromycin (50 mg/kg) (AGP); 3) CON + MOA (3,000 mg/kg) (OA1); 4) CON + MOA (5,000 mg/kg) (OA2); 5) CON + MOA (7,000 mg/kg) (OA3). This study design included 6 replicates per treatment with 6 piglets per pen (barrow:gilt = 1:1) and the experiment was separated into phase 1 (d 1 to 14) and phase 2 (d 15 to 28). In phases 1, 2 and overall, compared with the CON, the feed conversion ratio (FCR) was reduced (P < 0.01) and the average daily gain (ADG) was increased (P < 0.05) in piglets supplemented with AGP, OA1 and OA2. The concentration of serum immunoglobulins G (IgG) was improved (P < 0.05) in piglets supplemented with OA2 in phase 2. In the jejunum and ileum, the villus height:crypt depth ratio was significantly increased (P < 0.01) in piglets fed AGP and OA1. The mRNA expression level of claudin-1 and zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) (P < 0.01) was up-regulated in piglets supplemented with OA1 and OA2. The piglets fed AGP, OA1 and OA2 showed an increase (P < 0.05) in the content of acetate acid and total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) in the cecum, and butyric acid and TVFA in the colon compared with CON. Also, OA1 lowered (P < 0.05) the content of Lachnospiraceae in piglets. These results demonstrated that MOA at 3,000 or 5,000 mg/kg could be an alternative to antibiotics due to the positive effects on performance, immune parameters, and intestinal health of weaned piglets. However, from the results of the quadratic fitting curve, it is inferred that MOA at a dose of 4,000 mg/kg may produce a better effect.
by Jiayu Ma on 15/07/2021
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