The value of added feed enzymes (FE) in promoting growth and efficiency of nutrient utilisation is well recognised in single-stomached animal production. However, the effects of FE on the microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) are largely unrecognised. A critical role in host nutrition, health, performance and quality of the products produced is played by the intestinal microbiota. FE can make an impact on GIT microbial ecology by reducing undigested substrates and anti-nutritive factors and producing oligosaccharides in situ from dietary NSP with potential prebiotic effects. Investigations with molecular microbiology techniques have demonstrated FE-mediated responses on energy utilisation in broiler chickens that were associated with certain clusters of GIT bacteria. Furthermore, investigations using specific enteric pathogen challenge models have demonstrated the efficacy of FE in modulating gut health. Because FE probably change the substrate characteristics along the GIT, subsequent microbiota responses will vary according to the populations present at the time of administration and their reaction to such changes. Therefore, the microbiota responses to FE administration, rather than being absolute, are a continuum or a population of responses. However, recognition that FE can make an impact on the gut microbiota and thus gut health will probably stimulate development of FE capable of modulating gut microbiota to the benefit of host health under specific production conditions. The present review brings to light opportunities and challenges for the role of major FE (carbohydrases and phytase) on the gut health of poultry and swine species with a specific focus on the impact on GIT microbiota.
Efficacy of supplemental xylanase on growth performance, nutrient utilization, and digesta characteristics in broiler chickens fed corn- or wheat-based diets was investigated. In experiment 1, 192 male broilers (8 birds/pen; n = 6) were fed 4 diets (corn or wheat without or with 1,250 xylanase units/kg) in 2 phases (starter, d 0-21 and grower, d 22-42). There was no interaction (P > 0.05) between diet and xylanase on performance (d 0-42). Wheat diets resulted (P < 0.01) in better performance than corn diets, whereas xylanase-fed birds had improved (P < 0.01) BW gain (2,457 vs. 2,275 g) and feed per gain (1.677 vs. 1.762) relative to birds not fed xylanase. In experiment 2, TiO2 (0.3%) was added in starter diets used in experiment 1, allocated to 13-d-old broiler chicks (n = 6) housed in cages (6 birds/cage) and fed up to d 21. Excreta samples were obtained from d 17 to 20 and birds were euthanized on d 21 for digesta. Corn diets had a greater concentration (10.7 vs. 9.8%) of insoluble nonstarch polysaccharides (NSP) than wheat diets, which in turn had more than twice the concentration of soluble NSP. There was an interaction (P < 0.03) between diet type and xylanase on jejunal digesta viscosity but not (P > 0.10) on apparent ileal digestibilities of nutrients, cecal volatile fatty acids, and AMEn. In this context, diet type influenced (P < 0.05) cecal volatile fatty acids and retention of nutrients and fiber but did not affect (P = 0.45) AMEn. In contrast, xylanase-fed birds showed higher (P < 0.05) ceca digesta acetic acid, apparent ileal digestibilities of nutrients, and retention of components. As a result, birds fed xylanase had higher AMEn (3,059 vs. 2,995 kcal/kg; P < 0.01) compared with birds not fed xylanase. Although wheat diets had superior growth performance, the AMEn was similar in both diets. Xylanase improved growth performance and AMEn independent of diet type, suggesting hydrolysis of both soluble and insoluble NSP.
The effects of ground flaxseed (FS) and a multicarbohydrase enzyme (C) supplement on piglet performance, gastrointestinal microbial activity, and nutrient digestibility were investigated in a 28-d trial. The enzyme supplement provided 500 units of pectinase, 50 units of cellulase, 400 units of mannanase, 1,200 units of xylanase, 450 units of glucanase, and 45 units of galactanase per kilogram of diet. Ninety-six pigs were weaned at 17 d of age (BW, 6.1 +/- 0.4 kg, mean +/- SD) and assigned to treatments based on a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement in a completely randomized design, with 6 pens per diet (4 pigs per pen). The diets contained wheat, barley, peas, soybean meal, and canola meal with 0 or 12% FS, and were fed without or with C. Flaxseed was included by changing the levels of the other ingredients to balance the diets for DE and nutrients. Diets had similar nutrient contents and met the NRC (1998) nutrient specifications, with the exception of DE, CP, and AA, which were 95, 94, and 97% of the NRC requirements, respectively. Diets were fed in a 2-phase feeding program (2 wk/phase). Feed intake and BW were measured weekly, and 1 pig per pen with a BW nearest the pen average was bled weekly to evaluate plasma urea nitrogen. On d 28, fresh fecal samples were collected from each pen and 1 pig per pen with a BW nearest the pen average was killed to evaluate intestinal microbial activity and nutrient digestibility. A dietary effect on piglet performance was observed only in wk 3, when the FS diets decreased (P = 0.005) ADG and G:F, tended to decrease (P = 0.070) ADFI, and increased (P = 0.027) plasma urea nitrogen. An interaction between FS and C was observed for ileal digesta viscosity (P = 0.045), such that C increased viscosity in the FS diet but had no effect in the non-FS diet. Flaxseed and C interacted to affect ileal ammonia content (P = 0.049), such that in the absence of FS, pigs fed the diet with C had lower ammonia than those on the diet without C. Flaxseed and C affected other ileal parameters independently. Pigs fed the FS diets had decreased (P = 0.003 to 0.033) anaerobic spore counts, organic acid, DM, CP, and nonstarch polysaccharide (NSP) digestibility compared with pigs fed the non-FS diets, whereas pigs fed the C-supplemented diets had greater (P = 0.009 to 0.061) lactobacilli counts, lactate, DM, and NSP digestibility than pigs fed the unsupplemented diets. In conclusion, FS reduced ileal microbial activity, nutrient digestibilities, and piglet performance in wk 3. The multicarbohydrase supplement increased ileal DM and NSP digestibilities as well as lactobacilli counts and lactate.
Lysozyme is a low-molecular-weight protein with antimicrobial properties. An experiment was conducted to investigate the response of piglets receiving a water-soluble lysozyme supplement [Entegard (EG), Neova Technologies Inc., Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada; 4,000 lysozyme units/mg] after oral challenge with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC). A total of 36 individually housed weanling pigs were randomly allotted to 1 of the 4 treatments, with 9 replicates per treatment. Treatments were a control (CONT, no additive), antibiotic (AB; 2.5 g/kg of feed of antibiotic with chlortetracycline, sulfamethazine, and penicillin), and EG delivered in the drinking water at concentrations of 0.1% (EG1) and 0.2% (EG2). All pigs received a basal diet similar in composition and nutrients, except for pigs receiving the AB diet, which had an added antibiotic. Pigs were acclimated to treatments for a 7-d period to monitor growth performance. On d 8, blood samples were collected from each pig to obtain serum, and each pig was gavaged with 6 mL (2 × 10(9) cfu/mL) of ETEC solution. Pigs were monitored for another 7 d to assess incidences of diarrhea and growth performance, and then all pigs were killed to obtain intestinal tissue and digesta samples. Treatments did not influence growth performance throughout the study. Greater ETEC counts were observed in the ileal mucosal scrapings (P = 0.001) and colonic digesta (P = 0.025) of pigs in the CONT group compared with pigs in the AB and EG1 groups. Pigs receiving AB and EG1 had greater (P < 0.05) small intestinal weights and ileal villus heights than pigs receiving CONT; however, the ileal villus height-to-crypt depth ratio was greater in pigs fed the AB diet (1.69) compared with those fed the CONT diet (1.34), whereas pigs receiving EG1 were intermediate. Pigs in the EG1 group showed greater (P < 0.001) serum tumor necrosis factor α and IL-6 concentrations before ETEC challenge; however, at 7 d postchallenge, pigs receiving EG2 showed the least (P < 0.05) circulating tumor necrosis factor α and IL-6 concentrations. Overall, better intestinal growth and development, as well as decreased ETEC counts on the intestinal mucosa and serum proinflammatory cytokines, suggest that EG can maintain gut health and function in piglets commensurate with antibiotics. However, it is noteworthy that at the largest dose tested, EG seemed to have a dramatic effect on proinflammatory cytokines but had a minimal or no effect on the other response criteria.
We examined egg production and quality responses of adding up to 7.5% defatted black soldier fly larvae meal (BSFLM) in a corn–soybean meal diet fed to pullets (19 to 27 wk of age). The concentration of CP and crude fat in BSFLM sample was 59.3 and 7.0% DM, respectively. A corn–soybean meal diet was formulated with 0 or 5.0 or 7.5% BSFLM and fed (n = 6) to a total of 108, 19-wk-old Shaver White pullets placed in conventional cages (6 birds/cage). The birds had free access to feed and water. Hen-day egg production (HDEP) and average egg weight were monitored daily and feed intake (FI) weekly. Egg quality parameters were assessed on individual eggs collected on the 5th d of wk 22, 24, and 26 and included individual EW (IEW), albumen height (HU), yolk color (YC), egg shell-breaking strength (SBS) and thickness (ST). A quadratic response (P < 0.02) was observed for HDEP, EW and egg mass. Specifically, birds fed 0 and 7.5% BSFLM diets had similar (P > 0.05) values for these parameters with birds fed 5.0% BSFLM showing lower (P < 0.05) HDEP than 0 or 7.5% BSFLM fed birds. The HDEP was 89.4, 84.8, and 87.8 for 0, 5.0, and 7.5% BSFLM, respectively. Feeding BSFLM linearly (P < 0.01) increased FI and feed conversion ratio (FCR) (FI/egg mass). There was no diet effect (P > 0.05) on IEW and HU, however, BSFLM linearly (P = 0.02) reduced CV of IEW. The IEW was 53.7, 52.3, and 53.0 g for 0, 5.0, and 7.5% BSFLM-fed birds, respectively and corresponding CV values of IEW were 7.9, 5.2, and 5.1%. Feeding BSFLM linearly (P < 0.01) increased YC, SBS, and ST. In conclusion, birds fed 7.5% BSFLM had similar HDEP and egg mass but poor FCR relative to corn–soybean meal diet without BSFLM. The effects of BSFLM on egg quality characteristics warrant further investigations.
Two experiments were conducted to determine the nutritive value of expeller-extracted canola meal (EECM) for growing pigs. In Exp. 1, a total of 6 ileally cannulated barrows (average initial BW = 26.8 kg) were fed 3 diets in a replicated 3 x 3 Latin square design to determine the apparent and standardized ileal digestibility (SID) values of N and AA and the SID AA contents of EECM. The 3 diets were a cornstarch-based diet with either solvent-extracted canola meal (SECM) or EECM as the sole source of protein, and a low-casein cornstarch-based diet, which was used to estimate basal endogenous N and AA losses to determine the SID of N and AA. All 3 diets contained chromic oxide as an indigestible marker for determining nutrient digestibility by the indicator method. In Exp. 2, a total of 18 intact barrows (average initial BW = 25.9 kg) were fed 3 diets in a completely randomized design (6 pigs per diet) to determine apparent total tract digestibility and retention of nutrients and the DE and ME contents of EECM. The diets were a basal corn-based diet or the basal diet with corn replaced by 35% SECM or EECM. The basal diet was used for determining the total tract digestible nutrient content by the difference method. Solvent-extracted canola meal, which is commonly used in the formulation of swine diets, was fed in both experiments for comparison with EECM. The SECM and EECM were similar in CP content (41.8 vs. 41.4%). Expeller-extracted canola meal was, however, greater in ether extract content (12.03 vs. 5.54%) and decreased in NDF content (23.8 vs. 29.9%) compared with SECM. The EECM also had a greater content of all the AA except Met, Cys, and Ser, by approximately 6.6%; Cys was greater in SECM, whereas Met and Ser were similar between the 2 meals. The EECM had greater (P < 0.05) SID of N, Arg, Ile, Leu, Phe, Glu, and Pro. The SID contents of Arg, His, Ile, Leu, Phe, Val, Ala, Asp, Glu, Gly, Pro, and Tyr were also greater (P < 0.05) for EECM than for SECM by an average of 15%. The EECM had greater (P < 0.01) DE (4,107 vs. 3,790 kcal/kg) and ME (3,978 vs. 3,564 kcal/kg) values compared with SECM. The results show that the EECM used in the current study had greater digestible AA and energy and a greater ME content than the SECM; hence, it may be a better source of protein and energy for growing pigs than SECM.
The aim is to give an overview of available literature data on the role of feed processing on gut health and function with specific focus on particle size and hydrothermal processing. In addition, influence of feed processing on efficacy of exogenous feed enzymes will be discussed. The current feed processing technologies are such that ingredient choices and diet form are refined to improve feed intake and nutrient utilization efficiency. Finer feed particle size enables optimal nutrient utilization and enhances animal performance due to increased surface area allowing better contact with digestive enzymes. Moreover, adequate diminution of feed ingredients is beneficial to feed manufacturing processes such as mixing and hydrothermal treatments including pelleting, extrusion, and expansion. However, emerging trends in consumer and regulatory demands for restriction or cessation of animal production practices such as use of antimicrobial growth promoters are challenging current approaches to feed processing. There is limit as to the fineness of the particle size, as very fine particles negatively affect gut health due to higher incidences of stomach ulceration in pigs and gizzard dysfunction in poultry. Coarse particle size increases stomach and hindgut acidification which may be beneficial in controlling proliferation of enteric pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli . Optimal particle size could be designed in the grinding process using roller or hammer mill. However, since most commercial pigs and poultry diets are subjected to hydrothermal processes, additional reduction of feed particle size is inevitable. The need to achieve high physical quality and to reduce potential levels of feed-borne pathogens such as Salmonella has led to the application of relatively high conditioning temperatures during conventional hydrothermal processes, a practice that does not favor high nutrient utilization and stability of heat sensitive feed additives such as feed enzymes. Therefore, with evolving pig and poultry production practices, the regimens for feed processing will no longer be appreciated only in terms of optimizing nutrients utilization, but also in terms of impact on feed hygienic status, efficacy of feed additives, animal health, and food safety.
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