With high feed costs, intensifying consumer demands, and increased government regulations, the poultry industry faces a compelling need for new feeding solutions. Academic researchers and industry experts have long agreed on the importance of gut health for birds’ performance and responsible production in general.

As research continues, we have gained more insights into the complexity of the phenomenon commonly known as “gut health.” This deeper understanding provides us with a better notion of how to manage performance and other production factors by means of feeding.

We had a great opportunity to learn more about these topics at our Progres® Seminar, organized in late September in Turku. The discussion focused on Progres® – our innovative feed ingredient from the Finnish forest. The event became a kind of Progres®-journey made together with our guests, who were feed industry representatives from 12 European countries. Guided by our speakers – top scientists from several European research institutions and experts from the poultry industry – we reviewed a huge amount of existing research and examined product usage experience, which perfectly corresponded with the research findings.

Progres® proves consistently effective in different productions conditions

Dr. Juha Apajalahti (Research Centre Alimetrics Ltd.), Dr. Ellen van Eerden (Schothorst Feed Research) and Prof. Krzysztof Lipinski (University of Warmia and Mazury) demonstrated convincingly that Progres® has consistently improved animal performance under conditions varying from lab experiments to commercial-type trials.

In turn, Dr. Eija Valkoinen (Hankkija) surveyed the Finnish experience with Progres. Apart from being an innovation house, we are also a Finnish feed producer, with an annual production of some 600 000 tons of feed for multiple species. This gives us a unique opportunity to study and further develop our new products under commercial conditions and see the effects of our innovations in practice. The European experience with Progres® exemplified in Jyrki Lehtonen’s presentation and shared by our European customers mirrors the data obtained in Finland, thus extending our knowledge and reinforcing our message. 

Many scientific trials and excellent practical results have clearly shown that Progres® improves performance under different conditions. However, thanks to collaboration with our research partners, we are also been gaining a better understanding of exactly how Progres® works.

Progres® positively modifies gut microflora and supports the integrity of the intestinal tract

Prof. Filip Van Immerseel (University of Ghent) presented different conceptual approaches to gut health and targets for gut health improvement in broilers. Alongside his academic activities, Prof. Van Immerseel leads a research group investigating host-bacterium interactions. His presentation at the Progres® Seminar revealed that resin acids – the active ingredient of Progres® – directly reduce intestinal inflammations in broilers and thus improve the integrity of intestinal tissues.

It is amazing to gain such a profound scientific understanding of effects discovered centuries ago by traditional Finnish medicine, which made use of tree resin.

Moreover, it is a very important finding, as the intestines of apparently healthy production animals are never fully healthy. Even in perfectly managed facilities, animals always exhibit some degree of intestinal inflammation. If we can decrease that inflammation, we can improve the absorption of nutrients and save energy consumed by an immune response, thus improving the performance and overall condition of animals. This may explain the consistency of the animal-performance effects of Progres® and provide ideas for developing its application for different animal species.

Suomen Rehu has been developing innovative products for more than 20 years with the help of our great research partners. Our aim has always been to develop products that offer real benefits to our customers. That is why we always give priority to science and verify our findings under commercial conditions.   

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our speakers, partners and guests for their great contribution during the seminar!