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Effect of feeding an essential oil blend on chicken pancreatic enzyme activities

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Title: Effect of feeding an essential oil blend on chicken pancreatic enzyme activities
Author(s): Lüüs, Helen
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Food TechnologyDepartment of Food and Environmental Sciences
Discipline: Biotechnology (EYT) (Food Biotechnology)
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2009
Abstract:
The present study was conducted to test the effect of an essential oil blend containing thymol and cinnamaldehyde on chicken pancreatic enzyme activities. Essential oils are oils from plant origin and have become an important alternative in animal nutrition after the European Union banned the use of antibiotics as growth promoters. Some previous studies have indicated that essential oils may stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes, and thereby have a positive effect on the digestion and absorption of nutrients (Windisch et al. 2008). Pancreas samples originated from 20- and 28-day old Ross male chickens, that were fed with wheat soybean diets supplemented (or not) with the essential oil blend. Optimization of the colorimetric assays for detecting the enzyme activities in the supernatants of pancreatic homogenates was carried out. The ?-amylase, trypsin, chymotrypsin and lipase activities were expressed as U per mg of protein. The activity results were compared with previously collected digestibility and performance results. The addition of the essential oil blend at the applied concentrations to chicken diet did not have a significant effect on the activities of the chicken pancreatic enzymes. Overall, the enzyme activities did not show strong correlations to chicken performance or nutrient digestibilities. However, there were significant differences (P < 0.05) in the lipase and trypsin activities between the 20- and 28-day old chickens. It can be concluded that the studied essential oil blend did not stimulate pancreatic enzyme activities at the tested conditions. However, further studies are needed to explain the effect of the dietary supplement of essential oils on chicken digestion.
Keyword(s): essential oils broiler chickens pancreatic enzymes digestion


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