Sodium salts of MCFA can improve gut health, replace BMD

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Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) have become a focus of attention due to their potentially favorable antimicrobial effects.

Carlos del Cuvillo, Norel’s Product Manager, said coconut and palm kernel fatty acids distillates are sources of MCFA rich in lauric acid (C12), which have strong antimicrobial activity against gram positive bacteria.

Showing progress in this line, he said that Norel presented at the International Poultry Scientific Forum 2022 the results of a trial on the effect of supplementing broiler diets with sodium salts of MCFA (Dicosan) at different doses. The analysis of the effect on intestinal health was focused on showing how stability at the digestive tract level influences broiler performance.

A total of 400 male Cobb 430 broiler chickens were randomly distributed into four treatments (n=10): NC, negative control, without any in-feed antibiotic growth promoter; PC, positive control, NC diet supplemented with bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD, 50 ppm); DIC1, NC diet supplemented with sodium salts of MCFA (Dicosan) at  1.5g, 1.0g and 0.5g per kg diet during the starter, grower, and finisher stages; and DIC2, NC diet supplemented with sodium salts of MCFA (Dicosan) at 1.0g, 0.5g and 0.5g per kg diet during the starter, grower ,and finisher stages. Chemical coccidiostat (diclazuril, 0.3g/kg) was used throughout the study period.

At the end of the study (35d) DIC1 birds were numerically the heaviest (P>0.05), with 2453g compared to 2421g for the PC group. There was also a significant shift in the microbial populations (log10 CFU/g digesta) of E coli, Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens.

The DIC groups showed a reduction (P=0.0001 in all cases) compared to NC in these counts (e.g., E coli resulted in 7.17c, 4.66ab, 4.49a, and 4.78b for NC, PC DIC1, and DIC2, respectively). In the case of Clostridium perfringens, the DIC groups were lower than PC (6.32d, 5.59c, 5.27b, and 4.84a for NC, PC DIC1, and DIC2, respectively). Even if there were no significant differences in small intestinal morphology, however in both the DIC1 and DIC2 groups the villi were arranged in a more compact manner.

In conclusion, Mr del Cuvillo said the study supports the idea that sodium salts of MCFA can improve gut health and can replace BMD as an antibiotic growth promoter.

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