New insights into probiotic technology and gut health in broilers

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/agnormark
© GettyImages/agnormark

Related tags Probiotic gut

Adisseo and Novozymes, who are partnering on probiotic work, reported last month that they were able to demonstrate and visualize in detail the germination of their Alterion technology.

The companies argue that such insights scientifically prove that their Bacillus-based probiotic product for poultry is effective, that its spores become active and grow inside the gut of the birds. Until now, the degree of germination within animals had been virtually unknown, prompting questions regarding the benefit of probiotics for livestock, said the partners.

Due to the complexity of the process within the intestinal environment, in vivo​ confirmation of germination has been a very challenging task, they added.

Relying on their strong Bacillus​ knowledge and extensive biological tools, the Novozymes team in the US developed, in house, an innovative fluorescent system that tracks the germination process within the bird’s gut. 

novozymes adisseo

Karoline Sidelmann Brinch, science manager at Novozymes Applied Research, Animal Health and Nutrition, told us more.

“We are very excited about this development. It is something we have been working on for a long time. In the industry, everyone has, for many years, been really interested in getting a deeper understanding about why Bacillus-based probiotic products have a beneficial effect on the animal. There have been a lot of indirect methods to [determine this], but we were not quite satisfied with [those]. Now we can directly visualize that we have this very important germination going on in animals.”

Digging deeper 

She said that ever since the two companies launched Alterion in 2016, the scientists involved have been on an ongoing journey of discovery in relation to the potential of their probiotic technology.

“The more we dig into it the more we understand that its mode of action is extremely complex. Now we are really excited that we can show, for example, the different metabolites that are being produced and that they have beneficial activities. But, as scientists, we can always dig deeper to understand how they impact the immune system, how they influence the gut barrier. It is definitely a journey that we would like to continue. When customers have specific questions, we like to go in and address those, also.”

The team has done a lot of work to prove that the strain is safe and robust and that it can work under a range of different conditions, with other feed ingredients, said Sidelmann Brinch.

Alterion was developed specifically for poultry; beyond broilers, the partners are exploring application in the layer and turkey sectors, said Camilla Marie Bünner Kruse, global marketing and partnership manager, Novozymes.

Swine focus 

The partners are considering building a Bacillus-based probiotic pipeline for swine, she told us.

“Since the beginning of the partnership, the whole purpose of the platform has been about exploring the benefits of probiotics for monogastric application, for both poultry and swine, and, more specifically, in-feed application. Probiotics can play a role across the whole lifecycle of both poultry and swine,” ​added Bünner Kruse.

The partnership, she said, leverages Adisseo’s strong market presence and regional know-how with Novozymes’ strong Bacillus technology and application knowledge.  

The Alterion product is now available worldwide, backed by strong data packages and registration, said the marketing manager. “In all regions, since the launch in 2016 in the US, there have been commercial trials done, both by customers directly and by Adisseo, looking at the relevance of the product from a regional point of view.”

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