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Yeast-based additives in broiler diets: a holistic approach

Abstract

The poultry industry is a fast and dynamic productive sector due to its intense development and application of technologies in genetics, nutrition and management of broiler commercial systems. As a result, the challenges currently encountered in aviculture stimulate the constant adaptation of the contemporary systems to new production models, in order to ensure greater welfare and health of chickens and food safety. Regarding to nutrition, the use of yeast-based additives has been considered a promising alternative to replace antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed. Composed mainly of mannooligosaccharides, b-glucans and nucleotides, these prebiotics demonstrate capacity to modulate the intestinal microbiota and immune system responses of birds, positively influencing in productivity parameters. However, several modes of action of these prebiotics and their associations with other functional substances have not been entirely elucidated and require further studies. In addition, new scientific approaches not yet studied as the use of yeast-based additives on the welfare of chickens associated with meat quality, and also, the integration of new innovative technologies as artificial intelligence should be stimulated in order to generate information of economic-sustainable bias to the industry. Thus, the present research project proposes to investigate the effects of yeast-based products Saccharomyces cerevisiae in broiler diets. This study will be divided in two performance trials: a) evaluation of the effects of yeast-based additives on the well-being, meat quality and intestinal integrity of broiler chickens challenged with Eimeria; and b) the use of yeast-based products in the control of Salmonella Heidelberg infection in broiler chickens and in the modulation of intestinal microbiota, immune system responses and gene expression. Finally, the research findings aim to better understand the mode of action and the potential functional properties by associating productive parameters, well-being and chickens' health on a molecular level. (AU)