The primary aim of the study was to determine whether the incorporation of purified beta-glucanase into chicken feed based on wheat could result in improved beta-glucan utilization and enhanced chicken performance. The researchers anticipated that beta-glucanase had the potential to break down a wheat component known as beta-glucan, which, in turn, could enhance nutrient digestion, promote a healthier gut microbiota, and ultimately contribute to the growth and well-being of the chickens.
"The results were fascinating. Not only did beta-glucanase effectively break down beta-glucan, but it also improved chicken growth and health," shared the lead author of the study, Namalika Karunaratne. "But there's more to the story. We compared beta-glucanase to antibiotics historically used in chicken feed and found that beta-glucanase had some unique advantages."
While antibiotics did a decent job of breaking down beta-glucan, beta-glucanase performed even better, especially in the early stages of growth.
"However, beta-glucanase reduced short-chain fatty acids, which carbohydrate fermentation products in the chicken's digestive system. This might seem counterintuitive," said Karunaratne. "Interestingly, it didn't harm the chickens' overall performance. In fact, it led to improved weight gain and increased feed efficiency."
The researchers concluded that adding purified beta-glucanase to the chicken feed not only boosted performance but also reduced the need for antibiotics and other medications.Click here to see more...