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Functional additives for monogastric animals

The aim of the project is the development of functional feed additives for mono-gastric animals, by developing technologies for inclusion of additives in diets and studying the effects of additives on palatability, zoo-technical criteria, animal intestinal health, and metabolism of substances.

The huge development of intensive farming in the second part of the 20th century has been possible by the improvement of facilities, management, genetics, and animal nutrition. One of the main nutritional factors was the use of antibiotics as growth promoters. A ban of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP's) was put in force within the EUROPEAN UNION (EU) on 01.01.2006. With this ban, the EU met growing concerns of researchers and consumers on possible cross-resistance of bacteria to antibiotics used in human medicine and the risk of antibiotic residues in animal derived human food, i.e. milk and meat. Economic losses resulting from this ban were calculated to be 5-9% in piglets and 2-3% in poultry chicken under good husbandry conditions. As a consequence, great efforts have been made to find alternative substances that can replace AGP's in animal production. This is also reflected in the funding of research projects on this topic by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION (e.g. REPLACE). These projects mainly focus(sed) on the identification of new substances and their effects on gut bacteria and gut health, as well as physiological and immunological effects of alternative feed additives. Technological issues, such as stability and uniformity of substances during feed production and storage, application of additives in liquid feeds, micro-dosing of liquid additives in solid vitamin-mineral premixes, as well as knowledge on palatability and metabolism of substances, however, were of secondary importance in these projects. Furthermore, only limited research has been carried out in these fields by the feed companies. Nowadays, high raw material prices and increasing feed costs for pig and broiler production, respectively, might result in the usage of low quality material, thus, decreasing the digestibility of diets and increasing pathological incidences. This might lead to impaired conversion of feed into weight gain and the need for antibiotic treatment might also be higher. The present EUREKA collaboration aims to develop functional feed additives for mono-gastric animals. These products will be thoroughly tested for their effectiveness on diet palatability, animal performance, and intestinal health in weaning piglets and growing poultry chicken by applying different animal models (nutritional objectives). Moreover, new technological processes will be developed for the inclusion of liquid additives on a solid base by micro- and macro-dosage. This also includes careful selection of solid carrier materials as well as developmental work of a novel micro-encapsulation technique for stabilisation of volatile substances (technological objectives). Finally, the present project will develop highly accurate analytical methods which allow for detection of active substances and metabolites in feed and animal tissues, respectively (analytical objectives).
Acronym: 
FAMA
Project ID: 
4 580
Start date: 
01-01-2009
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
980 000.00€
Technological Area: 
AGROFOOD TECHNOLOGY
Market Area: 
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.