Reports from EuroTier 2018

Delacon's new phytogenic product targets post-weaning piglet challenges

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© Delacon
© Delacon
Austria headquartered plant feed additives producer, Delacon, is looking to tackle post-weaning challenges in piglets with its new plant based product.

Branded as Fresta Protect, the product contains a combination of micro encapsulated oils – extracts of rosemary, curcuma [Turmeric] and garlic - flavonoids and mucilages.

The company said it is designed to increase palatability of the diet, stimulating feed intake in the post-weaning phase. We spoke to Delacon product manager, Anja Fiesel, at EuroTier last week about the development of the product.

Delacon has a database of 7,500 botanical compounds to select from for NPD. She said the team carried out in depth in vitro​ tests and in vivo​ feeding trials to screen numerous phytogenic compounds and combinations during the R&D phase.

Germany based piglet trial

The company undertook a trial of Fresta Protect on a large commercial farm in Germany, in collaboration with the University of Berlin. The farm in question was one that had long experienced serious issues with E. coli​ diarrhea in piglets during the post-weaning phase, explained Fiesel.

The study cohort included 800 piglets and the duration of the trial was 42 days. There were 400 piglets per group with the animals fed a standard commercial diet; one group was given feed that included the phytogenic product, at an inclusion level of 1kg per ton of feed.

“From the results, we observed the incidence of diarrhea was reduced by 30% and the medication used to treat diarrhea was reduced by 45%. At the same time, we saw the performance increasing - feed intake, average daily gain (ADG) and FCR improved.”

Post-weaning piglets should not be required to waste energy on dealing with challenges in the intestine, as such it has more energy for growth, she said. 

Collation of data on gut morphology is in progress, said Fiesel.

Results will differ per market and diet, said the company. Calculations it did show, on average, the product will bring a return of investment of 6:1 for the farmer.

Research insights 

Delacon, she said, has been dedicated to fundamental and applied research in plant-derived substances. The plant universe offers opportunities to contribute to an overall healthy and sustainable pig production, continued the product manager.

“There are phytogenic substances that can protect the intestinal mucosa through mucilages that build a fine film on the surface of the mucosa to protect it. As such, pathogens [like E. coli] are not able to attach to the cells.

“Furthermore, there are plant-derived substances that have the ability to reduce the bacterial pathogenicity, meaning quorum sensing inhibition of the bacteria inside the gut. We have tested some essential oils that deliver quorum-sensing inhibition; that was something we tested in-vitro, evaluating different essential oils and their effect on the quorum sensing [capabilities] of bacteria.

“Finally, many phytogenic substances have been shown to exert antioxidative and antiinflammatory effects. The flavonoids as well as several essential oils are [responsible] for this. We are modulating enzyme cascades in the body and the gene expression of antioxidative enzymes to ensure there is a systemic effect in the whole body, to keep the animal healthier.”

Quorum sensing is a form of bacterial communication based on the production and secretion of signaling molecules that can be detected by adjacent bacteria.

When population density rises, these molecules accumulate in the extracellular environment, thereby providing a means for bacteria to quantitatively monitor the presence of other bacteria.

When these signaling molecules reach a certain threshold concentration, they initiate intrabacterial signaling that culminates in the activation of specific genes.

FeedNavigator is hosting a webinar on establishing the microbiota in the pig on Tuesday 27 November at 4pm Paris time.  You can register for the live event here​.

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