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Effects of encapsulated products as alternatives for antibiotics and Zn on piglets’ performance and intestinal mucosa

Published: February 16, 2023
By: G. Papadopoulos 1, T. Poutahidis 2, N. Tallarico 3, G. Arsenos 1, P. Fortomaris 1,* / 1 Laboratory of Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine; 2 Laboratory of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece; 3 Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health, Herentals, Belgium.

Keywords: encapsulated products, growth, piglets.

The use of alternatives to antibiotics, such as essential oils, organic acids and zinc oxide for the maintenance of swine health and performance, has been under debate. However, their efficacy varies due to many reasons and also to their availability in the intestine. Encapsulation methods have been applied to protect these compounds against gastric acidity and promote the gradual release to the distal parts of the intestine. The objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of the dietary addition of two encapsulated products on the performance of weaners, but also to test the hypothesis that the elevated quantities of acids, zinc oxide and antibiotics could be effectively replaced by such products.
Materials and Methods:
A field study was conducted in a commercial swine farm of a capacity of 320 sows, in Greece. The design comprised three treatments in the post-weaning period (28 - 63 days of age): Treatment C (control); Treatment A, diets supplemented with Product A (encapsulated calcium formate, benzoic and citric acids); Treatment B, diets supplemented with Product B (as of product A and additionally supplied by encapsulated essential oils and encapsulated Zinc Oxide). Antibiotics were supplemented in the prestarter phase in all groups (days 28-42), while in the starter phase were supplemented only in groups C and A (days 42-63). Each treatment comprised 10 replicates (10 pigs/replicate). Performance parameters of pigs included body weight and feed consumption. At end of the study, five (5) pigs per treatment were randomly selected in order to obtain Hematoxylin- Eosin stained sections of standardized jejunum and ileum areas for histopathological examination.
Piglets from treatment A exhibited a higher daily growth rate from days 42 to 63 (P=0.029), which tended to be significant for the overall period (P=0.064). This resulted to a tendency for higher weight at the end of the trial, which was approximately 1.5kg more than the other 2 treatments (P=0.058). Piglets from treatment B had similar performance with the control group. The mucosal height of jejunum in pigs of groups A and B was significantly higher by comparison with that of control (P=0.02 and P= 0.009 respectively).
The obtained results here confirmed the initial hypothesis set, for the effective use of encapsulated alternatives in the post-weaning period in pigs. Moreover, piglets from B treatment, had similar growth with piglets fed the control treatment that contained antibiotics throughout the study.
Disclosure of Interest: G. Papadopoulos: None Declared, T. Poutahidis: None Declared, N. Tallarico Conflict with: Participation in study design, G. Arsenos: None Declared, P. Fortomaris: None Declared.
Published in the proceedings of the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress – IPVS2016. For information on the event, past and future editions, check out https://ipvs2024.com/.
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Nicola Tallarico
Kemin Industries, Inc
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