The French plant extract producer, Nor Feed, has been running the research contest on an annual basis since 2015. Although there is a long history of use in relation to plant extracts and animal health, there has been limited academic research on the subject, said the Angers based company.
One of the goals of the award scheme is for Nor Feed to identify relevant projects in order to build and support scientific partnerships; the company said some of its products are the result of such collaboration between it, universities and industry.
An independent expert jury selects the winner who receives €5,000 in prize money.
The winning thesis this year was undertaken by Dr Kamil Sierżant, who is based at Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poland. He looked at the impact of two plant extracts known to have high antioxidant potential - blackcurrant and rosemary - on meat oxidative stability in broilers’ diets.
His thesis also evaluated the use of certain plant extracts on zootechnical parameters, taking into account polyphenols such as pine bark, olive leaf extracts and quercetin.
His results, according to Nor Feed, showed there was better oxidative stability in meat from broilers fed a diet supplemented with the blackcurrant and rosemary extracts. His study also indicated better digestibility of dry matter in chickens given feed supplemented with blackcurrant extract.
“A clear tendency to reduce the number of CFU [colony forming units] of bacteria, molds and yeasts in the ileum content of chickens supplemented with other tested polyphenolic additives has been also observed.”
A spokesperson for Nor Feed told us: “Since the start of the Nor-Feed Award, the participation level is variable – it is in and around 15 candidates per edition. This year, we had entrants from China, Poland, Denmark and Austria.”
The winner is selected on the contents of the abstract, the plant extracts used, the methodology, the results and the conclusion, said the company.
A Nepalese researcher won the 2016 Nor Feed Award for his work on the impact of plant-based products against parasites, notably tapeworm.
Title of winning project: Additives of natural polyphenolic extracts to the broiler chickens diet and their effect on oxidative stability of meat and selected production parameters, 2013, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Poland.
Author: Kamil Sierżant