Spices and herbs in broilers nutrition: hot red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and its mode of action

Published on: 12/12/2016
Author/s : Patent Co N. PUVACA1 *, D. LJUBOJEVIC2 , LJ. KOSTADINOVIC3 , J. LEVIC3 , N. NIKOLOVA4 , B. MIŠCEVIC5 , T. KÖNYVES5 , D. LUKAC1 and S. POPOVIC3 1 University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Agriculture, Trg Dositeja Obradovica 8, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia; 2 Scientific Institute of Veterinary Medicine “Novi Sad”, Rumenacki put 20, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia; 3 University of Novi Sad, Institute of Food Technology, Bulevar cara Lazara 1, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia; 4 University "Ss. Cyril and Methodius", Institu
Summary

Spices, herbs and medicinal plants as a feed supplements present promising alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters due to their high content of bioactive substances. A large number of experiments have confirmed a wide range of activities of spices in poultry nutrition such as stimulation of feed intake, antimicrobial, antioxidative and coccidiostat stimulation, increase of body weight gain, lowering the mortality rate and improvement of the blood and tissue lipid profile. The present paper gives a review on the characteristics of hot red pepper and its mode of action in broilers nutrition.

Keywords: spices; herbs; pepper; chicken; nutrition

Introduction

Antibiotics have been widely used in animal production for decades. Although some are used therapeutically to improve the health and wellbeing of animals, most were given for prophylactic purposes and to improve growth rate and FCR efficiency. However, due to the emergence of microbes resistant to antibiotics, which are used to treat human and animal infections, the European Commission banned the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal nutrition. In many countries, as well as in Serbia, consumer pressure is pushing the poultry industry to produce animals without antibiotics as growth promoters (Dibner and Richards, 2005; Castanon, 2007; Kostadinovic et al., 2015; Puvaca et al., 2015). Removal of antibiotics as growth promoters has led to reduced growth performance and feed efficiency as well as increased incidence of certain animal diseases (Wierup, 2001; Dibner and Richards, 2005). Several alternate approaches for antibiotic growth promoters, including prebiotics, probiotics, organic acids, essential oils, medicinal plants or parts of plants such as thyme, basil, oregano and have been identified (Simon, 2005; Stanacev et al., 2011; Kostadinovic and Levic, 2012; Puvaca et al., 2013), including capsaicin from the hot red pepper (Gnayfeed et al., 2001). Hot red peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) are one of the most important spices that are widely used in human nutrition. Hot red peppers are rich in vitamin C, which have a considerable impact in improving production through reduction of stress in birds affected by heat stress (Yoshioka et al., 2001; Al-Kassie et al., 2012). Droge (2002) reported that high stocking density of broilers tended to increase stress index and free radical production, which could damage many biological molecules in cell membrane. The aim of this review is to present the effects of hot red peppers in broiler's nutrition as a phytobiotic, its mode of action and as a possible alternative to antibiotics.

 

Biologically active constituents of hot red peppers and their properties

Spices and herbs such as oregano, garlic, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, hot red pepper and sage are listed among the most commonly researched phytobiotics in broiler nutrition. This classification as phytobiotics is not only in terms of medicinal plants or their respective essential oil extracts but also as blended combinations of multiple phytogenic products because of the large number of their bioactive compounds. Spices and herbs represent an important part of the current literature on phytobiotic applications in broiler nutrition (Horosova et al., 2006; Cross et al., 2007; Al-Kassie et al., 2011; 2012, Kostadinovic et al., 2012; Puvaca et al., 2013; 2014; 2015).

Biologically active constituents of plants are mostly secondary metabolites, such as terpenoids, phenolic, glycosides and alkaloids. Composition and concentrations of these biological chemicals in plants vary due to biological factors, manufacturing and storage conditions. Approximately 48% of the active substances in capsaicinoids are capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonemide; Carol et al., 1996), which is an important alkaloid due to its neurotonic and antimicrobial activity (Tellez et al., 1993; McElroy et al., 1994; Fadile and Elife, 2005), and its potential to decrease lipid peroxidation (Kentaro et al., 2002; Oboh et al., 2006; Conforti et al., 2007). Research has proven that Capsicum annuum is the only plant that produces alkaloid capsaicinoids, which are responsible for their hot taste. Capsaicinoids are alkaloids that are important in the pharmaceutical industry for their neurological benefits (Hayman and Kam, 2008). Previous reports on the phytochemical properties of capsaicinoids have shown many biochemical and pharmacological properties which includes antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic and anti-carcinogenic activities (Lee et al., 2005), and may reduce the risk of cancer (Nishino et al., 2009). Kentaro et al. (2002) and Luqman and Razvi (2006) reported that capsicum is more effective than vitamin E in inhibiting lipid peroxidation. Capsaicin can potentiate the activities of pancreatic and intestinal enzymes (Platel and Srinivasan, 2004), increase bile acid secretion (Abdel Salam et al., 2005), and increase body weight gain in broiler chickens (Galib et al., 2011; Puvaca et al., 2014; 2015). Approximately 85% of capsaicin is absorbed by passive diffusion mainly in jejunum (Kawada et al., 1984; Iwai et al., 2003).

 

Hot red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) as a diet supplement in poultry

The poultry do not sense the effect of hot spices, either because of the lack of receptors specific for capsaicin binding (Mason and Maruniak, 1983; Geisthovel et al., 1986) or the lack of receptors that are sensitive to capsaicin (Szolcsangi, 1976). On the other hand, capsaicin increases appetite in poultry, so the addition of hot red pepper to the diet influences feed consumption of the broiler (Yoshioka et al., 1999). Effective compounds in hot peppers are cupsaeesin, cupsisin and cupsantine. Recent studies monitoring poultry performance showed that blends of the active compounds of hot red pepper resulted in chemo-preventive and chemo-therapeutic benefits. As seen for red chilli peppers, capsaicin is the main active compound responsible for the pungent effects of various species of the hot red peppers (Jancso et al., 1997) and the main component including hot taste. Capsaicin has been shown to have a protective function in the gastric mucosa as a stimulant of afferent nerve endings. Hencken (1991) and Yoshioka et al. (2001) explained that hot red pepper is rich in vitamin C, which has a considerable impact in improving production through contributing to the reduction of heat stress. Although it is well known that plant extracts improve the digestibility of feeds in broilers, Hernandez et al. (2004) reported that such ingredients only slightly improved performance, and these differences were not significant.

Capsinoids are a family of compounds that are analogues of capsaicin, which is the pungent component in hot red peppers. Capsinoids are widely present at low levels in hot red peppers, including capsiate, dihydrocapsiate (Kobata et al., 1999) which is thought to stimulate certain healing processes in the body.

 

Effects of red chilli peppers on production performances and blood lipid status of broiler chickens

Al-Kassie et al. (2012) investigates the efficiency of utilisation of broiler feed supplemented with red chilli peppers on productive performance. A total of 300 one day old chicks were divided into five groups of 60 birds each and were allocated to five feeding treatments, including a control group free from any additions, and groups with addition of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1% hot red pepper, respectively. The results showed a highly significant (P<0.05) increase in live weight gain, feed consumption, improved feed conversion ratio and dressing percentage, but no significant difference in the weight of edible giblets. Diets containing 0.75 and 1.0% of hot red pepper showed a decrease in blood cholesterol concentration. It was concluded that using a mixture as feed additive at levels of 0.75 and 1% in feed enhanced the overall performance of broilers, and improved haematological traits. Shahverdi et al. (2013) conducted a study to determine the effect of use of red pepper, black pepper and their mixtures on performance of broilers. Chicks were fed a basal diet as the control, and treatments of 0.02% red pepper, 0.02% black pepper and with the mixture of these two products. Feed intake, body weight gain and FCR were determined. Cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose levels and antibody titre against Newcastle Disease vaccine were investigated. The results revealed that the inclusion of red and black pepper in broilers diet improved weight gain, feed intake and FCR. In addition, use of red and black pepper decreased the cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose concentration and heterophil and lymphocyte ratio in blood (P<0.05). Data from the same study showed that use of red and black pepper powders in broiler diets caused an increase in total diameter of small intestines (P<0.05). It was concluded that the use of red and black pepper as feed additive at 1% level in feed enhanced the overall performance of broilers.

Effects of red chilli peppers on production performances and blood lipid status of broiler chickens Al-Kassie et al. (2012) investigates the efficiency of utilisation of broiler feed supplemented with red chilli peppers on productive performance. A total of 300 one day old chicks were divided into five groups of 60 birds each and were allocated to five feeding treatments, including a control group free from any additions, and groups with addition of 0.25, 0.5, 0.75 and 1% hot red pepper, respectively. The results showed a highly significant (P<0.05) increase in live weight gain, feed consumption, improved feed conversion ratio and dressing percentage, but no significant difference in the weight of edible giblets. Diets containing 0.75 and 1.0% of hot red pepper showed a decrease in blood cholesterol concentration. It was concluded that using a mixture as feed additive at levels of 0.75 and 1% in feed enhanced the overall performance of broilers, and improved haematological traits. Shahverdi et al. (2013) conducted a study to determine the effect of use of red pepper, black pepper and their mixtures on performance of broilers. Chicks were fed a basal diet as the control, and treatments of 0.02% red pepper, 0.02% black pepper and with the mixture of these two products. Feed intake, body weight gain and FCR were determined. Cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose levels and antibody titre against Newcastle Disease vaccine were investigated. The results revealed that the inclusion of red and black pepper in broilers diet improved weight gain, feed intake and FCR. In addition, use of red and black pepper decreased the cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose concentration and heterophil and lymphocyte ratio in blood (P<0.05). Data from the same study showed that use of red and black pepper powders in broiler diets caused an increase in total diameter of small intestines (P<0.05). It was concluded that the use of red and black pepper as feed additive at 1% level in feed enhanced the overall performance of broilers.

Goncalves et al. (2012) investigated the effects of Brazilian red pepper meal (BRPM) on liver function and performance of broilers. At 21 days of age there were elevated levels of aspartate aminotransferase and decreased alanine aminotransferase in broilers supplemented with BRPM, which was associated with higher levels of antibiotic activity compared to the control (P<0.05). There was no effect (P>0.05) of treatments on broilers weight and relative liver weight at 43 days of age. The supplementation of Brazilian red pepper with or without antibiotics improved feed conversion at 43 days of age. It was concluded that the inclusion of BRPM did not affect liver function but the addition of high levels of antibiotics associated with the BRPM resulted in alteration of hepatic enzymes.

Puvaca et al. (2015) conducted experiments to investigate the effect of various spice herbs such as garlic (Allium sativum L.), black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) and hot red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in broiler chicken nutrition on productive performance and blood lipid profile. Experimental treatments were fed with the same basal diet as the control but with the addition of garlic, black pepper, hot red pepper and their mixture in amount of 0.5 and 1%. Chicken in the experimental treatments with two levels of hot red pepper achieved statistically significant higher final body weight compared to the control group and other treatments. The highest amounts of triglycerides, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and non high density lipoprotein (non HDL) in chicken blood in the control birds was statistically different compared to the treatments. The lowest statistical levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) were seen in the control group. Puvaca et al. (2015) concluded that the chicken fed diets containing spices achieved better production results and lipid profile status compared with those on unsupplemented feed.

 

 

Conclusions

Based on the available data and earlier investigations, it can be concluded that hot red pepper can be widely used in broiler nutrition. The efficacy of spice applications in poultry depends on many factors. From the obtained data and field results it can be concluded that spices such as hot red peppers can be successfully used in poultry nutrition for improvement of productive performance and a reduction of cholesterol levels in blood. In general, spices and herbs appear to have positive effects, but the knowledge of their use in poultry nutrition is still limited and requires further research.

 

Acknowledgements

This paper is a part of the project III 46012, which is financed by Ministry of Education, Science and Technological development of the Republic of Serbia.

 

 

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