Science database

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

Most recent publications

The Efficacy of a Smectite-Based Mycotoxin Binder in Reducing Aflatoxin B1 Toxicity on Performance, Health and Histopathology of Broiler Chickens

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.
by Ismail Zabiulla on 01/12/2021
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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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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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Effect of L-glutamic acid N,N-diacetic acid on the availability of dietary zinc in broiler chickens

Poultry
Chelating agents can be used to improve the nutritional availability of trace minerals within the gastrointestinal tract. This study was conducted to determine the effect of a novel chelating agents, L-glutamic acid N,N-diacetic acid (GLDA), a biodegradable alternative to ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid on the nutritional bioavailability of zinc in broilers. Twelve dietary treatments were allocated to 96 pens in a randomized block design. Pens contained 10 Ross 308 male broilers in a factorial design with 6 incremental zinc levels (40, 45, 50, 60, 80, and 120 ppm of total Zn), with and without inclusion of GLDA (0 and 100 ppm) as respective factors. Experimental diets were supplied from day 7 to 21/22 and serum, liver and tibia Zn content were determined in 3 birds per pen. Growth performance and liver characteristics were not affected by dietary treatments, but both supplemental Zn and GLDA enhanced tibia and serum zinc concentration. The positive effect of GLDA was observed at all levels of the dietary Zn addition. The amount of zinc needed to reach 95% of the asymptotic Zn response was determined using nonlinear regression. When GLDA was included in the diet, based on tibia Zn, the same Zn status was achieved with a 19 ppm smaller Zn dose while based on serum Zn this was 27 ppm less Zn. Dietary GLDA reduces supplemental Zn needs to fulfill nutritional demands as defined by tibia Zn and serum Zn response. Considering the positive effect on the nutritional availability of Zn in broilers, GLDA presents an opportunity as biodegradable additive, to reduce Zn supplementation to livestock and thereby reducing Zn excretion into the environment, while fulfilling the nutrition Zn needs of farmed animals.
by G. M. Boerboom on 04/02/2021
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Efficacy of l-glutamic acid, N,N-diacetic acid to improve the dietary trace mineral bioavailability in broilers

Poultry
Trace minerals are commonly supplemented in the diets of farmed animals in levels exceeding biological requirements, resulting in extensive fecal excretion and environmental losses. Chelation of trace metal supplements with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) can mitigate the effects of dietary antagonists by preserving the solubility of trace minerals. Lack of EDTA biodegradability, however, is of environmental concern. l-Glutamic acid, N,N-diacetic acid (GLDA) is a readily biodegradable chelating agent that could be used as a suitable alternative to EDTA. The latter was tested in sequential dose–response experiments in broiler chickens. Study 1 compared the effect of EDTA and GLDA in broilers on supplemental zinc availability at three levels of added zinc (5, 10, and 20 ppm) fed alone or in combination with molar amounts of GLDA or EDTA equivalent to chelate the added zinc, including negative (no supplemental zinc) and positive (80 ppm added zinc) control treatments. Study 2 quantified the effect of GLDA on the availability of native trace mineral feed content in a basal diet containing no supplemental minerals and supplemented with three levels of GLDA (54, 108, and 216 ppm). In study 1, serum and tibia Zn clearly responded to the increasing doses of dietary zinc with a significant response to the presence of EDTA and GLDA (P < 0.05). These results are also indicative of the equivalent nutritional properties between GLDA and EDTA. In study 2, zinc levels in serum and tibia were also increased with the addition of GLDA to a basal diet lacking supplemental trace minerals, where serum zinc levels were 60% higher at the 216 ppm inclusion level. Similar to the reported effects of EDTA, these studies demonstrate that dietary GLDA may have enhanced zinc solubility in the gastrointestinal tract and subsequently enhanced availability for absorption, resulting in improved nutritional zinc status in zinc-deficient diets. As such, GLDA can be an effective nutritional tool to reduce supplemental zinc levels in broiler diets, thereby maintaining health and performance while reducing the environmental footprint of food-producing animals.
by G. M. Boerboom on 04/02/2021
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Organic Acids as Alternatives for Antibiotic Growth Promoters Alter the Intestinal Structure and Microbiota and Improve the Growth Performance in Broilers

Poultry
The present study aimed to investigate the effects of organic acids (OA) as alternatives for antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) on growth performance, intestinal structure, as well as intestinal microbial composition and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) profiles in broilers. A total of 336 newly hatched male Arbor Acres broiler chicks were randomly allocated into 3 dietary treatments including the basal diet [negative control (NC)], the basal diet supplemented with 5 mg/kg flavomycin, and the basal diet supplemented with OA feed additives. Each treatment had eight replicates with 14 birds each. The results showed that AGP and OA promoted growth during day 22–42 compared with the NC group (P < 0.05). OA significantly increased the jejunal goblet cell density and ileal villus height on day 42 compared with the NC group (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, OA up-regulated the mRNA expression of jejunal barrier genes (Claudin-3 and ZO-1) relative to the NC group (P < 0.05). Significant changes of microbiota induced by the OA were also found on day 42 (P < 0.05). Several SCFAs-producing bacteria like Ruminococcaceae, Christensenellaceae, and Peptococcaceae affiliated to the order Clostridiales were identified as biomarkers of the OA group. Higher concentrations of SCFAs including formic acid and butyric acid were observed in the cecum of OA group (P < 0.05). Simultaneously, the abundance of family Ruminococcaceae showed highly positive correlations with the body weight and mRNA level of ZO-1 on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, AGP supplementation had the higher mRNA expression of Claudin-2, lower goblet cell density of jejunum, and decreased Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio, suggesting that AGP might have a negative impact on intestinal immune and microbiota homeostasis. In conclusion, the OA improved growth performance, intestinal morphology and barrier function in broilers, which might be attributed to the changes of intestinal microbiota, particularly the enrichment of SCFAs-producing bacteria, providing a more homeostatic and healthy intestinal microecology.
by Dai D. on 13/01/2021
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The effect of reducing dietary calcium in prestarter diets (0–4 D) on growth performance of broiler chickens, tibia characteristics, and calcium and phosphorus concentration in blood

Poultry
During the incubation period, the Ca-to-P weight (mg/mg) ratio in the yolk increases from 0.26 on day 0 to 0.92 on day 17.5 and to 2.9 at hatch. Moreover, the absolute Ca content in the yolk increases by 41%, whereas P content decreases by 87%, from day 0 to the day of hatching. Thus, at hatch and during the first days after hatching, there are high reserves of Ca relative to P in the residual egg yolk, risking hypercalcemia and hypophosphatemia. A growth performance study was conducted to explore the effects of reducing dietary Ca content in the prestarter phase (0–4 D) on BW and bone mineral deposition during the first days after hatch and at market weight (day 37). Four prestarter (0–4 D) diets were formulated to have 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0% Ca content. After the prestarter phase, all birds were fed with the same commercial diets based on a 3-phase feeding program (starter, grower, and finisher). Growth performance (BW, ADG, ADFI, and feed conversion ratio [FCR]) was monitored throughout the study, and blood and tibia bone samples were collected on specific days. On day 4, BW and ADG decreased with dietary Ca contents higher than 0.6% (P < 0.05), but there were no differences in BW on day 14 onward (P > 0.10). For the overall study (0–37 D), there were no differences in ADG and ADFI, but the FCR decreased with lower Ca contents (P < 0.05). On day 4, there were no differences in blood plasma Ca concentration, but P concentration increased in the group treated with diet containing 0.4% Ca compared with the groups treated with diets containing 0.6 and 0.8% Ca (P < 0.05). Tibia ash content decreased in the group treated with diet containing 0.4% Ca (P < 0.05) compared with all other treatments at the end of the prestarter phase. Tibia ash content and tibia breaking strength, on day 37, were not different among the treatments (P > 0.10). In conclusion, during the prestarter phase, BW increased with dietary Ca contents lower than 0.6%, most likely improving Ca–P balance; bone mineral deposition was reduced in this period. On feeding with a diet containing higher Ca content, bone mineral content was rapidly recovered.
by W. D. Mansilla on 27/07/2020
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