At the 6th Conference on Poultry Intestinal Health

Juhani Vuorenmaa, R & D Director

The 6th international conference on poultry intestinal health gathered about 750 poultry experts together to Rome last week. It became even more obvious that intestinal health is a very complex phenomenon. It involves several developmental and physiological processes, which interact with the environment.

New methods for better understanding the complexity of gut health, such as genome analysis of microbiota and new gut health biomarkers, were presented at the conference. Housing conditions, breed and age of birds, management strategies and many other environmental factors affect the intestinal health besides the feed. This should be considered when evaluating the efficacy of gut health enhancing feed additives. For example, commonly used medium chain fatty acids had largest effect on microbiota and bird performance in floor pens with solid fences. However, in more commercial environments their efficacy was smaller. Butyrate addition to the feed had a contradictory effect on gut health depending on the digestive tract segment where it was released.

Professor Filip Van Immerseel (Ghent University) presents the topics of the Conference

Most of the feed additives for enhanced gut health are focused on limiting foodborne pathogen establishment in the gut. Some feed additives, such as organic acids, plant extracts, bacteriocins and bacteriophages try to do this by eliminating already established pathogens. Others, such as probiotics and prebiotics aim at preventing the establishment of pathogens by competitive exclusion. Many of these products were presented at the conference.

Dr. Annasaheb Kolpe (Ghent University) presenting research on resin acids

Resin acids, the active compound of our Progres®, was the only ingredient presented at the conference showing direct host effects. The research, presented by Annasaheb Kolpe and Hannele Kettunen in Rome, demonstrated the direct anti-inflammatory effect of resin acids on intestinal tissues and gained a lot of interest.

Dr. Hannele Kettunen (Suomen Rehu) giving her presentation

At this representative forum, we had a rare opportunity to come up with something really different. Both experts and industry professionals came and stopped by our booth to talk about Progres®.