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M-prove® Poultry, the next step in optimizing profits in broilers

M-prove® Poultry, the next step in optimizing profits in broilers

By Manu De Laet, Product Manager Poultry

Worldwide, there is a clear demand to reduce the antibiotic use in poultry and in this way reduce the risk for antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotics are widely used for the prevention, control and treatment of diseases and infections. But there are global concerns that antibiotics are used too often.


The most frequent bacterial disorder in poultry is dysbacteriosis (general bacterial overgrowth) and necrotic enteritis (caused by Clostridium perfringens). Without antibiotics in the feed, there are high potential losses due to a higher bacterial load and a lower control of the inflammatory responses of the bird. With the increasing consumer pressure and new regulations worldwide, the search for alternatives by poultry nutritionists is still ongoing. Using feed additives as an antibiotic alternative has been shown to be a good option. Examples of these feed additives are medium chain fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics, organic acids, phytogenics or mixtures of different components.

Since many years, there has been a lot of research on every single component to replace antibiotics. But an alternative approach is also promising: looking for combinations and synergies between different components.

1. MCFA's and Phytogenics

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Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA’s) have always been Nuscience’s approach to establish a strong antibacterial barrier at stomach level. MCFA’s are well known to exert excellent antimicrobial properties. The minimal concentration of medium chain fatty acids needed to inhibit microbial growth is much lower than for other acids. For this reason they are already used for a long time as alternative to antibiotics in poultry nutrition

Being still convinced of this approach, MCFA’s were the starting point of the search for the next generation broiler additives. This search was focused on identifying ingredients which work synergistically with MCFA’s and add extra benefits

A lot of phytogenic compounds are used in the market. The possible effects are very wide: increased feed intake, antioxidative capacities, stimulation of digestion, enhancing immunity, increased growth, decreased cases of dysbacteriosis, reduced mortality, better reproduction, lower FCR, with a higher profitability as end result. Because it is impossible to focus on all the effects of the phytogenic compounds, Nuscience went back to the basics of the challenges on farm level: lower disease pressures, with the most effective use of energy as a result, combined with a good feed digestion, for a better FCR. When the health and the feed digestion of the animal are optimal, reaching the genetic potential is possible, money can be saved and the financial result will be optimized.

1.1 Antibacterial effect

Since MCFA’s have been proven to have the strongest antibacterial effect, it was difficult to find other components that could contribute to the end result. Nevertheless, certain phytogenic components are able to permeabilize and depolarize the cytoplasmic membrane of the bacteria. This means that the cell membrane is weaker, and that the MCFA’s are able to enter much easier in the cell. In this way, we can expect synergistic effects between the phytogenic components and the MCFA’s.

1.2 Feed digestion

A valuable mode of action of phytogenic components is their effect on enzyme secretion (mainly in the pancreas). An increased secretion of bile acids, gastric enzymes, pancreatic enzymes (like lipase, amylase, and proteases), and intestinal mucosa have been reported in animal trials. In broilers, an increase in pancreatic trypsin, amylase, and maltase activities have been shown as well. Some phytogenics are also well known as good emulsifying agents. They have a lipophilic part and a hydrophilic part, which makes them ideal to work in the same way as a bile acid. The fat that is taken in by the broilers, will be absorbed in a more efficient way and can be used for growth. Some...

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