Dynamics of proteolytic fermentation and the effects on intestinal health of broilers

Project: PhD

Project Details


Due to the growing world population, protein resources are becoming more scarce in the next decades. Because higher-quality protein sources will primarily be used in human nutrition, only lower-quality protein sources will be available for animal nutrition. Poor enzymatic protein digestibility and overfeeding of protein results in the presence of undigested protein in the distal part of the small intestine as well as in the ceca of broilers, respectively. In addition to the fact that these proteins are not available for utilization by the bird, this undigested protein also becomes substrate for proteolytic fermentation with a subsequent change in microbial composition, colonization of pathogenic bacteria and the production of metabolites and toxins. These metabolites and toxins can potentially result in damage to the gut microstructure, activation of the immune system, have an impact on protein and energy metabolism and potential organ damage. A better understanding of what gut health is and how it can be affected, permits us to take dietary measures, e.g. different feed processing or use of specific additives, to improve animal’s health, and consequently its wellbeing and performance, while reducing the requirement for medical treatment with antibiotics. The objective of this project is to understand gut health better in order to find nutritional solutions to create healthier animals and reduce the use of antibiotics by evaluating the impact of ileal undigested protein on microbial activity, proteolytic fermentation, intestinal health and broiler performance.
Effective start/end date21/10/163/05/23


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