AB Vista broadens gut health portfolio, acquiring resin acids product from Finnish supplier

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/10'000 Hours
© GettyImages/10'000 Hours

Related tags AB Vista Gut health Broiler swine

UK company, AB Vista, says it has extended its product offering with the acquisition of an additive from Finnish biosciences company Hankkija.

Progres is a patented resin acids product that designed to improve gut integrity by reducing inflammation and stimulates tissue recovery with a healing effect. It also beneficially modulates intestinal microbiota, favouring butyrate producers and lactobacilli, reducing the growth of Gram-positive pathogens, supporting antibiotic-free production systems, according to the UK firm.

First developed in 2015, the product is targeted at the poultry, swine, and ruminant sectors.  

AB Vista has taken ownership of the product including existing relationships with manufacturers and customers, a spokesperson confirmed to FeedNavigator. 

The company intends to leverage its global supply chain to allow new markets to take advantage of the product. To date, Progres has mainly been sold in Europe and in parts of Latin America and Asia, said the AB Vista representative. 

Progres is based on strong research, and it supports a more sustainable approach to animal production, commented AB Vista’s managing director, Juan Ignacio Fernández. 

“Adding Progres to our portfolio expands the support we can provide nutritionists, veterinarians, and production managers, looking for strategies and production programs that deliver improved gut health, nutritional optimisation, and food safety and security. This acquisition also demonstrates our commitment to growing our offer into the wider additives market,” added the MD.

Promoting intestinal health in broilers

The chicken gut is constantly exposed to harmful molecules and microorganisms that endanger the integrity of the intestinal wall. Strengthening intestinal mucosal integrity is a key target for feed additives that aim to promote intestinal health in broilers, according to Prof Richard Ducatelle, head of the laboratory of veterinary pathology, University of Ghent.

And coniferous resin acids are known for their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties, he told this publication previously. Though the mode of action of resin-based products is still largely unexplored, he added. 

To add to the scientific data on such nutritional tools, Ducatelle, along with a raft of leading poultry health and nutrition experts, set about exploring the effect of pure resin acids on broiler intestinal health. The paper on their findings was published in the journal Veterinary Research​. 

The study involved 20 1-day old Ross 308 broilers, the trial group were fed a diet supplemented with coniferous resin acids for 22 days, following which the effect on both the intestinal microbiota as well as on the intestinal tissue morphology and activity of host collagenases was assessed. 

The team saw that dietary inclusion of resin acids did not alter the morphology of the healthy intestine and only minor effects on the intestinal microbiota were observed. However, resin acids-supplementation reduced both duodenal inflammatory T cell infiltration and small intestinal matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity towards collagen type I and type IV, they found. 

“Reduced breakdown of collagen type I and IV might indicate a protective effect of resin acids on intestinal barrier integrity by preservation of the basal membrane and the extracellular matrix.” 

The team of poultry experts argued that further studies are needed to explore the protective effects of resin acids on broiler intestinal health under sub-optimal conditions and to plug knowledge gaps on the mechanisms behind the observed effects. The observation that resin acids impact host intestinal inflammation and MMP activity provides a new direction for future research on the effects of resin acids on broiler intestinal health, they concluded. 

“In the present study, resin acids-supplementation of broiler diet reduced small intestinal MMP activity and duodenal inflammatory T-cell abundance, while maintaining optimal gut morphology. Only minor effects on the microbiota composition and its metabolic functions were observed. To confirm the presumably direct effects of resin acids on the propria mucosa homeostasis, further in vitro studies are required in absence of the host microbiota."

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