NETHERLANDS— Dutch animal nutrition specialist DSM, has developed a precision biotic named Symphiome; designed to orchestrate microbiome metabolism and optimize poultry resilience to enteric stress, to aid in nutrient utilization, to improve welfare, and to also reduce emissions.

Poultry microbiome research is increasingly coming under focus, with specialists now exploring more at function and metabolic pathways, in substitute of the conventional approach that placed emphasis on microbial composition.

Research conducted to understand the exact mechanism of action of precision biotics (PBs) has demonstrated that they increase metabolic functions intrinsic to the microbiome that are able to detoxify unabsorbed amino acids and leaked host protein, independent of the microbiota composition, said the company.

“This leads to that higher resilience to enteric stress, better nutrient utilization, improved welfare and reduced emissions,” ​ noted an overview by Dr Cristiano Bortoluzzi, senior poultry scientist and Dr Jack Geremia, global head of microbiome discovery, DSM nutritional products, Switzerland.

Precision biotics are the latest innovation born out of our strategy to develop precision solutions to address industry needs and offer best-in-class efficacy and consistency

Luis Valenzuela, product manager at DSM animal nutrition and health


Symphiome works by increasing the number of genes associated with protein and amino acid metabolism and short-chain fatty acid production, which reduces intestinal ammonia production, and reduces the generation of skatole and other indoles that increase luminal pH, cause epithelial damage and negatively impact litter quality and welfare, among other negative effects, they explained.

Optimizing the animal production industry

Luis Valenzuela, product manager at DSM animal nutrition and health, told feed navigator that the company has been actively involved in microbiome science for many years, with the idea of improving both profitability and sustainability in the animal production industry. 

“This includes everything from our work in methane reduction through harnessing microbe host-interactions that drive resilience, feed efficiency, and welfare in monogastrics. Our strategy rests on developing precision solutions to address industry needs and offer best-in-class efficacy and consistency. Precision biotics are the latest innovation born out of that strategy.

Also, in the context of improving profitability and sustainability in the animal production, Ondulla Toomer, a research chemist with the ARS, has found untapped nutritional potential in the paper-thin skins of peanuts in terms of their protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, mineral and vitamin content. Peanut skins also contain bioactive compounds, including antioxidants that help neutralize cell-damaging molecules in the body called free radicals.

How well do they integrate into poultry diets?

Toomer and collaborators are exploring the benefits of adding peanut skins to the diets of poultry. However, peanut skins contain tannins, which can reduce the digestion of protein from feed. The researchers have begun evaluating low inclusion levels (4%) of peanut skins with a view to determining the optimal amount that can be added.

The researchers also checked for the presence of allergenic peanut proteins in egg and meat samples produced from birds fed peanut-containing diets, detecting none.

Toomer said profiling the nutritional chemistry and properties of peanut skins is a key step towards figuring out how best to use them.

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