by Rebecca Sherratt, Features Editor, Milling and Grain

Health and nutrition experts Novus International, Inc. recently showcased their latest innovations for the poultry industry at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, US. Novus experts were on hand discussing enzymes, antibiotic alternatives, trace minerals, feed preservatives as well as feed acidifiers.

Novus is a global leader in nutrition and health-based solutions for the animal agriculture industry, renowned for its productive, efficient and sustainable products. With a company portfolio of over 150 products, the company is a well-respected and iconic member of the feed nutrition sector. Founded in 1991, Novus now has over 700 employees based in over 30 countries and produces quality nutritional solutions for poultry, swine, cattle and aquaculture producers.

As IPPE, Novus researchers showcased their latest innovations and findings during the International Poultry Scientific Forum (IPSF), which took place in conjunction with the exhibition. IPSF serves as an educational forum for leading industry members to present their studies concerning poultry production, health and nutrition, avian diseases, physiology and environmental management.

Three of Novus's leading scientists were invited to present their findings on phytase and corn-soybean meal feed-based diets, trypsin inhibitors within soybean meal, and a combination of essential oils and organic acids on broiler birds.

'The research presented at IPSF is of vital importance to the poultry industry,' said Mercedes Vázquez-Añón, Novus's Senior Director of Animal Research. 'It provides a platform for our customers to learn new information about bird physiology, how certain feedstuffs can interact with different supplements, or how nutritional supplements can interact with one another. This information can make a real difference in how a poultry producer chooses to run their facility.'

IPSF presentations

Effect of dietary supplementation of essential oil and organic acid alone or in combination in broilers

The following study was led by Novus scientist Dr Frances Yan and evaluated the potential benefits of combining both organic acids and essential oils in feed production. The use of essential oils, as well as organic acids, has been proven to enhance both growth production and gut health of broilers and the Novus team wanted to discover whether combining both solutions could lead to further improved results.

In order to test this hypothesis, a floor-pen study was conducted with 1,728-day-old male broilers which were supplied an essential oil blend (Next Enhance® 150, 1:1 thymol carvacrol) and/or an organic acid blend (Avimatrix®, protected benzoic acid, calcium formate and fumaric acid). The broilers were subject to mild Eimeria challenge. The growth performance, including body weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and mortality rate of each chick were measured at different stages of the study (days 21, 28, 35 and 41).

A total of nine dietary treatments were utilised in a 3x3 factorial arrangement with three levels of Next Enhance® 150 (0, 15 and 30g/t) and three levels of Avimatrix® (0, 250 and 500g/t). Each diet was fed to eight replicate pens of 24 birds. On day 14 of the study, each bird was orally gavaged with a coccidiosis vaccine at five times the recommended dose.

Besides growth performance, on day 22, jejunal tissue was collected for cytokine mRNA expression. On day 42, footpad dermatitis lesions were also scored. The data was subject to two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) to evaluate the primary effects of the diet supplements and their interaction. Means were also separated by Fisher's protected LSD test.

The results: FCR was significantly affected by dietary treatments and the best responses were observed on days 28 and 35. There was a significant interaction between Next Enhance® 150 and Avimatrix® in which all treatments (with the exception of Next Enhance® 150 at 15g/t) significantly increased FCR and the most effective solution observed was through combining 15g/t Next Enhance® 150 and 250g/t Avimatrix®. Combining 500 g/t Avimatrix with either dose of Next Enhance® 150 significantly reduced foot pad dermatitis score. Next Enhance® 150 at 30 g/ton reduced jejunal interleukin 10 mRNA expression. In summary, the results indicated that additional benefits can be achieved when combining Next Enhance® 150 and Avimatrix in broiler diets.

Effects of higher doses of microbial phytase on performance and bone ash in broilers fed moderately deficient non-phytase phosphorus using corn-soybean meal-based diets

The study by Novus's Dr Megharaja Manangi identified the effects of varied levels of phytase within corn-soybean meal-based diets. This study served as a follow on from a study conducted by J Pieniazek in 2017.

For this study, a 41-d floor pen housed 1,548 Ross 308 male broiler chicks that were assigned six treatments and were housed 22 chicks per pen.

Treatment 1 consisted of reduced levels of NPP and no added phytase (Negative Control). Treatments 2-5 consisted of 500, 750, 1000 and 1500U of phytase/kg diet added to the pre-existing Treatment 1, respectively. Treatment 6 was supplemented with industry standard levels of non-phytate phosphorus (NPP) (Positive Control).

For starter, grower and finisher diets, the Positive Control NPP levels were maintained at 0.48, 0.45 and 0.42 percent respectively, whilst Ca levels were maintained respectively at 0.93, 0.86 and 0.80 percent. For all three phases, the Negative Control NPP and Ca were reduced by 0.20 percent and 0.15 percent respectively, from the PC. Data were analysed using one-way ANOVA and significance was tested at P£0.05.

Results: D27 results suggested that Negative Control had reduced (P£0.05) gain (1.37 vs 1.62kg per bird) and FI (1.83 vs 2.14kg per bird), but not FCR (1.335 vs 1.322; P³0.05) compared to Positive Control. Phytase levels of 500U or more in the form of Cibenza® Phytaverse® displayed an increase in FCR and gain over Negative Control (P³0.05) and comparable to or better (P<0.05) than the Positive Control. The only group to experience higher gain (56g more) as well as a 2.3 points improvement (P<0.05) in FCR compared to Positive Control was the group fed 1500U phytase in the form of Cibenza® Phytaverse®.

D41 results suggested that the Negative Control had reduced (P£0.05) gain (2.84 vs 3.26kg per bird), FI (4.30 vs 4.87kg per bird), FCR (1.513 vs 1.495), mortality (4.93 vs 1.44 percent) and percent ash (44.84 vs 46.61) compared to Positive Control. Gain for both FI and FCR were similar (P³0.05) for all other doses including Positive Control and higher (P£0.05) compared to Negative Control. This suggests that 500U/kg diets could indeed compensate for phytase deficiency through NPP reduction.

The research implied that 1500U indeed not only compensated 0.2 percent NPP reduction, but, in fact, also improved both FCR and gain beyond Positive Control by end of d27. This study also showcased that, for up to 41 days, although 500U was enough to improve gain and FCR, 750U and above were required for % ash and mortality improvements beyond Negative Control and comparable to Positive Control.

Conventional trypsin inhibitor levels of soybean meal and protease supplementation affect digestibility in broilers

The following study was led by Novus researcher Raquel Araujo. The objective of this study was to analyse the effects of trypsin inhibitors on digestibility in broilers fed soybean meal-based diet and to evaluate Novus's own protease enzyme, Cibenza® DP100 as a tool to mitigate unfavourable effects of trypsin inhibitor on digestibility.

Trypsin inhibitor are considered one of the most anti-nutritional components of soybeans. They are proteins competing to bind to trypsin therefore affecting the digestion process and promoting economic losses. An adequate processing of soybeans will help to avoid the antinutritional effect of trypsin inhibitors by reducing them once they are heat-labile (inactivated at high temperatures). However, nowadays we still evaluate the processing quality of soybeans through cheaper and less complex indirect methodologies such as urease activity.

In recent Novus studies, it was concluded that there is a poor correlation between these indirect parameters and trypsin inhibitors levels in the current commercial range of trypsin inhibitors found. It can compromise the efficiency in monitoring the processing quality of soybean-based ingredients leading to losses in digestibility and performance of broilers.

To begin the study, 17 samples of soybean meal were obtained from relevant Brazilian poultry producers and analysed for trypsin inhibitor, five of which were selected for the following in vivo trial. 624 Cobb male broilers were reared in cages and fed a common-corn soybean meal diet, from days 1-21. From days 22-28, the broilers were split into five groups subject to diets (12 replicates each) with soybean meal as their sole food source. Each group was fed soybean meal with varying levels of trypsin inhibitors, ranging from 3.30-4.24mg/g soybean meal.

The soybean meal containing 4.24mg/g of trypsin inhibitor was also supplied Cibenza® DP100 at 500g/mt. Soybean meal samples were ensured to maintain standardised particle size to prevent any influence on digestibility. On day 28 ileal digesta (content undergoing digestion extracted from the lowest section of the small intestine) was collected and analysed through both ANOVA and Tukey tests. Response curves were also fitted using linear, quadratic and broken-line models.

Results: For most amino acids and gross energy, the lowest digestibility was reached between 3.47-3.99 mg/g trypsin inhibitor from soybean meal. The levels of trypsin inhibitors in this trial reduced the digestibility by approximately four percent. The protease CIBENZA® DP100 was effective in mitigating risks related to variations in commercial SBM quality by increasing digestibility of a high trypsin inhibitor-soybean meal in about 5.2 percent AAs and 7.6 percent gross energy.

In conclusion, commercial levels trypsin inhibitor in soybean meal certainly affect broiler digestibility. The protease Cibenza® DP100 was effective in mitigating the risks related to variations in commercial soybean meal by increasing the digestibility of high trypsin inhibitor soybean meal.

A bright future for feed

'The world population is growing, and more people want high-quality, safe and affordable chicken. With this in mind, poultry producers are constantly evaluating their operations to find innovative or creative ways to maximise output and maintain or improve quality,' said Scott Hine, Novus's Vice-President of Productions and Solutions and Chief Innovation Officer.

'Our Pushing Boundaries message exemplifies how we are looking deeply into the long-term benefits of animal nutrition and partnering with our customers, their nutritionists and/or veterinarians to help meet their goals. Our products, solutions and keen desire to help customers goes beyond what the industry has come to expect from a feed additive company.'

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