Special Issue "Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472). This special issue belongs to the section "Farm Animal Production".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lubomira Gresakova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Animal Physiology Slovak Academy of Sciences, Kosice, Slovakia
Interests: trace elements; mineral status; antioxidant status; absorption; bioavailability
Dr. Emilio Sabia
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
Interests: ruminant nutrition; animal production; dairy science; crop production; feeding; beef production; carbon footprint; LCA; biodiversity; environmental impact

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the challenge of reducing the environmental impact of animal production as well as maintaining animal health and sustainable livestock productivity, it is necessary to change the feeding strategy of livestock. Feed supplementation with safe and efficient nutrient additives should provide optimal animal performance as well as maximize livestock productivity with respect to the environment. Nutritional feed additives used in animal nutrition and originating from different sources affect physiological processes, such as nutrient digestibility and absorption, immunity, mineral status, antioxidant activity or reproduction of livestock. Improving nutrient digestion and absorption by feed supplementation can increase micronutrient bioavailability, provide safe and functional foods, as well as reduce environmental pollution from animal production.

The scope of the present Special Issue is to publish high-quality papers concerning various sources of nutritional feed additives using in-farm animal nutrition, and to investigate their effects on livestock health and production together with environmental pollution. Therefore, we invite you to submit, in this Special Issue, your recent findings, in the form of original research, communications or reviews regarding feed supplementation with nutritional feed additives, nutraceuticals or alternative feed byproducts, the effect of feed supplementation on animal growth, health and production, gut microbiota and food safety, and environmental impact.

Dr. Lubomira Gresakova
Dr. Emilio Sabia
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Agriculture is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • nutritional feed additives
  • digestibility
  • bioavailability
  • microbiota
  • food safety
  • environment

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effects of Knotweed-Enriched Feed on the Blood Characteristics and Fitness of Horses
Agriculture 2022, 12(1), 109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture12010109 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 74
Abstract
The aboveground biomass of dry knotweed was administered daily to large groups of young (1- to 3-year-old) stallions of the Czech Warmblood, Czech-Moravian Coldblood and Silesian Norik breeds, fed individually for 4 and 6 months in two successive winter experiments. Their fitness was [...] Read more.
The aboveground biomass of dry knotweed was administered daily to large groups of young (1- to 3-year-old) stallions of the Czech Warmblood, Czech-Moravian Coldblood and Silesian Norik breeds, fed individually for 4 and 6 months in two successive winter experiments. Their fitness was compared with control groups consisting of equally numerous subgroups comparable in age, breed, body mass and initial blood parameters. The effects of knotweed on the horses’ fitness were evaluated based on changes in blood characteristics. Even if administered in small amounts, 150 g per day, knotweed could (1) increase the thrombocyte numbers, (2) increase the globulin content (thus improving the horses’ immunity, which is desired in large groups of animals), (3) stimulate lipid metabolism in cold-blooded horses and (4) decrease the concentration of cholesterol. The long-lasting effect of knotweed on both the urea and triglyceride–cholesterol ratio presumably reflected, between the two experiments, the temporary protein starvation of horses on pastures with poor quality of grass in a dry summer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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Article
The Effect of Dried Grape Pomace Feeding on Nutrients Digestibility and Serum Biochemical Profile of Wethers
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1194; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121194 - 26 Nov 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
The aim of this study was to find the effect of dried grape pomace (GP) feeding on the nutrients digestibility coefficients and biochemical parameters of sheep blood serum. The experiment was divided into three feeding periods—C (control), GP1 (1% grape pomace concentration), and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to find the effect of dried grape pomace (GP) feeding on the nutrients digestibility coefficients and biochemical parameters of sheep blood serum. The experiment was divided into three feeding periods—C (control), GP1 (1% grape pomace concentration), and GP2 (2% grape pomace concentration). Wethers in three groups in balance cages were housed for right feces collection. The C feed diet consisted of hay, ground wheat, soybean meal, mineral and vitamin lick. An experimental diet with 1% and 2% addition of GP from the daily dry matter intake was fed. After that, digestibility coefficients (in %) were calculated by the difference between nutrient intake and excretion. Furthermore, in the wethers’ blood, biochemical parameters (mineral, energetic, nitrogen, and enzymatic profile) were analyzed. After the GP2 feeding, statistically significant higher digestibility of CP (crude protein), NFC (nonfiber carbohydrates), NDF (neutral detergent fiber), and OM (organic matter) was found. However, the addition of dried GP increased significantly the content of Cl and decreased the value of glucose, nevertheless, their concentrations were within the reference interval. Parameters of the wethers’ blood serum nitrogen and enzymatic profile were not affected by GP feeding. Dried grape pomace in an amount of 2% diet dry matter can be considered a suitable source of nutrients in sheep feeding, which in addition should improve the digestibility of diet crude protein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
Article
Bioavailability of Dietary Zinc Sources and Their Effect on Mineral and Antioxidant Status in Lambs
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1093; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11111093 - 04 Nov 2021
Viewed by 346
Abstract
This study investigated the relative bioavailability (RBV) of zinc from different sources used as feed additives in ruminant nutrition based on Zn concentration and the activity of Zn-dependent enzymes in lamb tissues. Thirty-two male lambs of Improved Valachian breed (three months old) were [...] Read more.
This study investigated the relative bioavailability (RBV) of zinc from different sources used as feed additives in ruminant nutrition based on Zn concentration and the activity of Zn-dependent enzymes in lamb tissues. Thirty-two male lambs of Improved Valachian breed (three months old) were randomly assigned to four dietary treatments. For 120 days, the lambs were fed either the total mix ration (TMR) providing 29.6 mg Zn/kg or the TMR supplemented with either zinc sulphate (ZnSO4), zinc chelate of glycine hydrate (ZnGly), or zinc chelate of protein hydrolysate (ZnProt). The supplemented diets contained a total of 80 mg Zn/kg. Supplementation with ZnSO4 increased Zn concentration in the liver, while the highest Zn uptake was in the kidneys of lambs fed the ZnProt diet. The ZnGly supplemented diet elevated the activity of the Cu/Zn-dependent enzyme superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn SOD) in the liver. Regardless of Zn source, Zn supplementation resulted in increased total antioxidant status (TAS) in the pancreas. The estimated RBV of Zn based on linear regression slope ratios did not differ among the Zn sources. Our results indicate similar availability of Zn from organic dietary sources as from commonly used zinc sulphate; however, their effects on mineral and antioxidant status may differ slightly in growing lambs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
Article
Effect of Enterococcus faecium AL41 (CCM8558) and Its Enterocin M on the Physicochemical Properties and Mineral Content of Rabbit Meat
Agriculture 2021, 11(11), 1045; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11111045 - 25 Oct 2021
Viewed by 359
Abstract
Improving rabbit meat quality using natural substances has become an area of research activity in rabbit nutrition due to stabilization of husbandry health and economy. The present study evaluates the effect of bacteriocin-producing, beneficial strain Enterococcus faecium AL41/CCM8558 and its enterocin M (EntM) [...] Read more.
Improving rabbit meat quality using natural substances has become an area of research activity in rabbit nutrition due to stabilization of husbandry health and economy. The present study evaluates the effect of bacteriocin-producing, beneficial strain Enterococcus faecium AL41/CCM8558 and its enterocin M (EntM) on the quality and mineral content of rabbit meat. Seventy-two Hycole rabbits (aged 35 days) were divided into EG1 (CCM8558 strain; 1.0 × 109 CFU/mL; 500 µL/animal/d), EG2 (EntM; 50 µL/animal/d), and control group (CG). The additives were administrated in drinking water for 21 days. Significant increase in meat phosphorus (EG1: p < 0.05; EG2: p < 0.0001) and iron (EG1, EG2: p < 0.001) contents was noted; sodium and zinc levels were only slightly higher in experimental groups compared with control data. The calcium (EG1, EG2: p < 0.001), potassium, and copper (EG1: p < 0.01) concentrations were reduced. The treatment did not have a negative influence on physicochemical traits of rabbit meat. Based on these results, we conclude that diet supplementation with beneficial strain E. faecium CCM8558 and its EntM could enhance the quality and mineral content of rabbit meat, with the focus on its iron and phosphorus contents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
Article
Productive Performance, Carcass Traits, and Meat Quality in Finishing Lambs Supplemented with a Polyherbal Mixture
Agriculture 2021, 11(10), 942; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11100942 - 29 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 533
Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of a polyherbal mixture (HM) containing saponins, flavonoids, and polysaccharides on productive performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of lambs during the final fattening period. Thirty-six Dorper × Katahdin lambs [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation of a polyherbal mixture (HM) containing saponins, flavonoids, and polysaccharides on productive performance, carcass characteristics and meat quality of lambs during the final fattening period. Thirty-six Dorper × Katahdin lambs (23.27 ± 1.23 kg body weight (BW)) were housed in individual pens and were assigned to four treatments (n = 9) with different doses of HM: 0 (CON), 1 (HM1), 2 (HM2) and 3 (HM3) g of HM kg−1 of DM for 56 days. Data were analysed as a completely randomized design using the MIXED and GLM procedures of statistical analysis system (SAS), and linear and quadratic effects were tested to evaluate the effects of the HM level. DM digestibility decreased in lambs fed HM3 (p < 0.05). There was no effect of HM on daily weight gain, dry matter intake, final BW, feed conversion, carcass characteristics, colour (L* and a*) and meat chemical composition. Meat pH, cooking loss and drip loss increased linearly (p < 0.05) when the HM dose was increased. The Warner-Bratzler shear force (WBSF) of meat was lower (p < 0.05) in lambs fed HM3. In conclusion, dietary inclusion of 3 g HM kg1 of DM improves meat tenderness. However, high doses of HM in the diet may decrease the digestibility of DM and increase the cooking loss and drip loss of lamb meat during the final fattening period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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Article
The Effect of Feeding Hens a Peanut Skin-Containing Diet on Hen Performance, and Shell Egg Quality and Lipid Chemistry
Agriculture 2021, 11(9), 894; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11090894 - 17 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 683
Abstract
Peanut skins are a considerable waste product with little current economic value or use. We aimed to determine the dietary effects of peanut skins on layer production performance and egg quality and chemistry of the eggs produced. Two hundred commercial hens were randomly [...] Read more.
Peanut skins are a considerable waste product with little current economic value or use. We aimed to determine the dietary effects of peanut skins on layer production performance and egg quality and chemistry of the eggs produced. Two hundred commercial hens were randomly assigned to four treatments (five replicates) and fed ad libitum for 8 weeks: conventional control diet, diet containing 24% high-oleic peanut (HOPN), diet containing 3% peanut skin (PN Skin), and a diet with 2.5% oleic acid (OA). Hens fed the HOPN diet had significantly reduced body weights relative to the control and PN Skin treatments, producing fewer total eggs over the 8-week experimental period. Eggs weights were similar between the control and PN Skin treatments at weeks 2 and 4, while eggs from the PN Skin treatment group were heavier than other treatments at weeks 6 and 8 of the experiment. Eggs produced from the HOPN treatment had reduced saturated fatty acid (FA) content in comparison to the other treatment groups, while similar between PN Skin and control eggs at week 8 of the experiment. This study suggests that PN skins may be a suitable alternative layer feed ingredient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
Article
Feeding Laying Hens a Diet Containing High-Oleic Peanuts or Oleic Acid Enriches Yolk Color and Beta-Carotene While Reducing the Saturated Fatty Acid Content in Eggs
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 771; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11080771 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 530
Abstract
We investigated the dietary effects of high-oleic peanuts (HOPN) or oleic fatty acids (OA) on older production hen performance, egg mass and quality, and lipid composition. A total of 99 laying hens were divided between three treatments and fed ad libitum for 8 [...] Read more.
We investigated the dietary effects of high-oleic peanuts (HOPN) or oleic fatty acids (OA) on older production hen performance, egg mass and quality, and lipid composition. A total of 99 laying hens were divided between three treatments and fed ad libitum for 8 weeks: (1) Conventional diet; (2) HOPN diet; (3) OA diet. Body weight (BW) was measured at weeks 1 and 8, and feed, egg weights (EW), and egg quality parameters were collected. Data was analyzed by analysis of variance at p < 0.05 significance level. There were no treatment differences in 8 week BW, feed conversion ratio, or average weekly egg quality parameters. The 8 week average EW of eggs from the HOPN group had reduced EW relative to the other treatment groups (p = 0.0004). The 8-week average yolk color score (p < 0.0001) was greater in eggs from the HOPN group relative to the other treatments. Overall, the β-carotene (p < 0.006) and OA content (p < 0.0001) was greater in eggs from the HOPN group, with reduced saturated fats in eggs from the HOPN group relative to the other treatments. These results suggest that HOPN and/or OA may be a useful layer feed ingredient to enrich eggs, while significantly reducing egg size in older production hens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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Article
Effects of Dietary Supplementation of Humic Substances on Production Parameters, Immune Status and Gut Microbiota of Laying Hens
Agriculture 2021, 11(8), 744; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11080744 - 06 Aug 2021
Viewed by 512
Abstract
Despite the fact that humic substances (HS) have been frequently studied in relation to their effects on livestock health, studies on their influence on egg production and quality, immunity, and intestinal microbiota of laying hens are limited. In this study, the influence of [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that humic substances (HS) have been frequently studied in relation to their effects on livestock health, studies on their influence on egg production and quality, immunity, and intestinal microbiota of laying hens are limited. In this study, the influence of 0.5% HS supplementation on the specific production parameters of eggshell mineral quality, immune parameters (relative expression of IgA, IGF-2, MUC-2 gene in cecum; activity of phagocytes, percentage of selected lymphocyte subpopulations in the peripheral blood), and number of lactic acid bacteria and enterobacteria in the intestinal contents in laying hens was tested. The addition of 0.5% HS to the laying hen feed had a positive effect on egg laying rate, daily egg mass, egg weight, feed conversion and eggshell quality and also had an immunostimulatory effect manifested by increased phagocyte activity and B cell response. Concurrently, an increase in the number of enterobacteria in the intestinal contents and a decrease in the proportion of T lymphocytes (p < 0.05) was observed, which can be considered as a negative effect of HS. The results confirmed that HS can be used for the improvement of egg production and targeted immunostimulation, but their effect on the intestinal microbiota and T lymphocytes should be studied in more detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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Article
Effects of Rocket Seed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, and Their Mixture on Growth Performance, Feed Utilization, Digestibility, Redox Status, and Meat Fatty Acid Profile of Growing Rabbits
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 662; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070662 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 642
Abstract
Vegetable oils are a source of natural antioxidants, including tocopherols, sterols, phenolic compounds, coenzymes, and polyunsaturated fatty acids that provide nutritional value, organoleptic properties, and significantly delay or prevent lipid oxidation. Eighty-four V-line rabbits at 5 weeks of age with an initial body [...] Read more.
Vegetable oils are a source of natural antioxidants, including tocopherols, sterols, phenolic compounds, coenzymes, and polyunsaturated fatty acids that provide nutritional value, organoleptic properties, and significantly delay or prevent lipid oxidation. Eighty-four V-line rabbits at 5 weeks of age with an initial body weight (BW) of 535.60 ± 13.48 g were assigned randomly to four experimental groups (seven replicates in each group with three rabbits each). The first group served as a control and received 0.3 mL/kg BW of distilled water (CON), while the second and third groups received 0.3 mL/kg BW of rocket seed oil (RSO) and wheat germ oil (WGO), respectively. The fourth group received a mixture of oils consisting of 0.15 mL of RSO and 0.15 mL of WGO/kg BW (MOs). The experiment lasted 7 weeks. The study investigated the effects of RSO, WGO, and their mixture on growth performance, feed utilization, antioxidant status, and immune response of growing rabbits. The results indicated that the rabbits that were administered orally with RSO and WGO or their mixture had higher (p ≤ 0.05) final BW, weight gain, and average daily gain when compared to the control group. In addition, the feed conversion ratio improved significantly with RSO, WGO, and MOs treatments. Different oil treatments improved nutrient digestibility, nutritive value, and nitrogen balance. Moreover, the rabbits that received RSO, WGO, and their mixture had an improvement the meat fatty acid composition compared to the control rabbits. Oral administration of RSO, WGO, and their mixture significantly improved serum protein fractions, decreased blood urea nitrogen, and had a positive effect on serum total lipids, HDL-c, and LDL-c. Furthermore, the treatments of RSO, WGO, and MOs had a significant improvement in the antioxidative status and immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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Article
Dietary Supplementation of Some Antioxidants as Attenuators of Heat Stress on Chicken Meat Characteristics
Agriculture 2021, 11(7), 638; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11070638 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 660
Abstract
The study evaluated the effect of dietary chromium and vitamin C, Zinc, and sorrel wood powder supplements on chicken health and the nutritional, textural, and sensorial quality of chicken meat. A total of 120 Cobb 500 chickens (heat stress, 32 °C) were assigned [...] Read more.
The study evaluated the effect of dietary chromium and vitamin C, Zinc, and sorrel wood powder supplements on chicken health and the nutritional, textural, and sensorial quality of chicken meat. A total of 120 Cobb 500 chickens (heat stress, 32 °C) were assigned into four treatments: control diet (C) and three test diets including 200 µg/kg diet chromium picolinate and supplemented with: 0.25 g vitamin C(VC)/kg diet (E1), 0.025 g Zn/kg diet (E2), and 10 g creeping wood sorrel powder (CWS)/kg diet (E3). Crude protein concentration increased in the breast meat from the E3 group; crude fat decreased in E1 and E3 compared to those fed the C diet. Dietary combinations of CrPic with VC, Zn, and CWS increased redness and decreased the luminosity parameter of breast meat compared with the C group. Dietary combinations of CrPic with VC and CWS lowered the hardness of breast meat. Significant positive correlation was found between hardness–gumminess (r = 0.891), gumminess–cohesiveness (r = 0.771), cohesiveness–resilience-EE (r = 0.861; r = 0.585), ash-L* (r = 0.426), and a negative one between ash–a* (r = 0.446). In conclusion, a dietary combination of CrPic with VC, Zn, and CWS as antioxidant sources could have a beneficial effect on quality without affecting sensory attributes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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Review

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Review
Biogenic Selenium Nanoparticles in Animal Nutrition: A Review
Agriculture 2021, 11(12), 1244; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/agriculture11121244 - 09 Dec 2021
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Selenium still represents a matter of debate in the scientific community. Bionanotechnology has introduced a whole new perspective on selenium use in animal nutrition. In recent years, attention has been focused on selenium nanoparticles prepared by chemical synthesis. Societal pressure directs research in [...] Read more.
Selenium still represents a matter of debate in the scientific community. Bionanotechnology has introduced a whole new perspective on selenium use in animal nutrition. In recent years, attention has been focused on selenium nanoparticles prepared by chemical synthesis. Societal pressure directs research in a “greenway” that is more eco-friendly. Biogenic selenium nanoparticles thus represent a new space for research in the use of this new form of selenium in animal nutrition. Recent research shows that biogenic selenium nanoparticles have low toxicity, improve antioxidant status, and increase the body’s immune response. However, their benefits may be much greater, as numerous in vitro studies have shown. In addition, biogenic selenium nanoparticles possess antimicrobial, antifungal, and anticancer activities. Further research should answer questions on the use of biogenic selenium nanoparticles as a feed supplement in individual categories of livestock, and their safety in terms of long-term supplementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Safety and Efficacy of Feed Additives in Animal Production)
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