Ahmed Khater, technical manager for gut health solutions in the Middle East and Africa, Evonik, talks about the company’s plan to extend its product range beyond amino acids to include innovative feed additives, while further contributing to the efficiency of animal feed and creating additional value for its customers
Evonik Animal Nutrition is a highly reliable, globally operating provider of the most efficient nutritional solutions of animal production. With more than 60 years of experience in the production of essential amino acids, Evonik is supporting its partners in more than a hundred countries around the world.
Evonik expanded its portfolio of sustainable and healthy solutions in the field of animal nutrition and strived to provide innovative solutions for antibiotic-free livestock management. Food safety and quality are increasingly important to end consumers. For Evonik, probiotics play an important part in an integrated response to reduce the use of antibiotics and antibiotic growth promotors.
The industry Challenge
Efficient poultry production is a balancing act of nutrition, gut health, and animal welfare, especially when reducing or eliminating antibiotic utilisation. Typical causes of intestinal microbial imbalance include the high variability in the quality of raw feed materials, leading to an increase in undigested nutrients in the intestinal lumen.
This, in turn, can trigger an overgrowth of Clostridium perfringens in the gut (Dysbiosis), causing inflammation and oxidative stress. The resulting environment enables the growth of other opportunistic bacteria such as pathogenic Escherichia coli. This imbalance in the microbial population disrupts the intestinal barrier and diarrhoea, both responsible for economic losses due to reduced growth rates and increased medication costs.
In addition, the control of Salmonella in poultry continues to be a public health concern. Finally, the development of multiple bacterial resistance to different antibiotics increases the need for alternative measures to control Clostridium perfringens and Salmonella spp.
Ecobiol® consists of the spores of a natural fast-growing Bacillus amyloliquefaciens CECT 5940 strain with an inherent capacity to produce secondary metabolites and lactic acid, which can influence interactions between different bacterial populations. By promoting the symbiotic relationship between nutrition, gut microbiota and immunity, Ecobiol® can potentially improve the overall health of the gut and help producers to solve quality, profitability and sustainability challenges, such as food safety and low performance.
It is compatible with most commonly used commercial coccidiostats and organic acids. It can survive feed manufacturing processes up to 90 °C and is easily handled at feed mills and farms. Ecobiol persists in the gut for at least three days, ensuring an extended benefit to the host.
Ecobiol® mechanism of action
It rapidly converted to the vegetative form and started to propagate inside the intestine. It produces macrolactins and other specific secondary metabolites with strong inhibitory activity against pathogens. It also produces Lactic acid, which supports the propagation of other beneficial bacteria, enhancing resistance to enteropathogenic bacteria.
Most importantly, Ecobiol® helps to maintain a consistent, stable intestinal environment through quorum quenching mechanism. Bacteria communicate among each other through the production of different specific molecules, a phenomenon termed quorum sensing (QS) as depicted in Figure 1.
One of the known “communicator” molecule groups is N-acyl-homoserine lactone (AHL), which sends bacteria a message to become more virulent, produce toxins, invade cells, etc. Blocking communication among these pathogenic bacteria is called quorum quenching (QQ), and can reduce the impact of this communication, as shown in Figure 2.
By that, it is clear now that Evonik expertise in the area of animal nutrition gives us the advantage of extending our portfolio and knowledge to the area of animal health. In addition, as a science-based company, we aim to close present knowledge gaps regarding direct-fed microbes and their potential influence on the microbiome, gut function and animal performance considering differences in the quality and composition of the feed. Moreover, our partners will have access to our knowledge and services by using Ecobiol®.
For more information about Evonik and Ecobiol® click here!