2013 - 2017

Development of an enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic for poultry

Principal Investigator: Bogdan Slominski, University of Manitoba
Collaborators: Anna Rogiewicz, University of Manitoba; Thomas Davie, University of Manitoba; Ehsan Khafipour, University of Manitoba; Rob Patterson, Canadian Bio-Systems Inc.; Rick Holley, University of Manitoba; Even McMillan, Nutreco Canada Agresearch; Greg Mathis, Southern Poultry Research Inc.; Jan Jankowski, University of Warmia and Mazury, Poland; Paul Goerzen, Hi-Pro Feeds; Ghislaine Roch, CDPQ Inc.; Bill Revington, New-life Mills
Status: Completed


The objective of the proposed research is to investigate the potential for a combination of an existing multicarbohydrase preparation fortified with a yeast cell wall lytic activity and the yeast-derived product(s) as an effective and inexpensive alternative to antibiotics.


New generation enzyme supplements have been developed for specific use in the feed industry.  This includes a multi-carbohydrase blend of activities which have a direct impact on animal health by manipulating the growth of gastrointestinal microorganisms due to the chemical nature of the substrates produced via enzymatic action on feed components.  The supplementation of a newly developed multi-enzyme preparation was effective in promoting growth and feed utilization of broiler chickens fed an antibiotic-free diet and facilitated post-disease compensatory growth of broiler chickens. The feedstuffs commonly used in Canada contain significant amounts of non-starch polysaccharides.  In the process of depolymerising polysaccharides, enzymes hydrolysis products may facilitate proliferation of bacteria associated with a probiotic effect, thereby indirectly prohibiting the growth of certain pathogenic species. Yeast products are a rich source of mannan polysaccarides and nucleotides, which can function as prebiotics, and have been shown to stimulate the immune system and gastrointestinal tract development.  They also have been shown to provide favourable conditions for beneficial bacteria and decrease colonization of pathogenic bacteria.  As co-products of brewer’s yeast fermentation, dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) contain a significant quantity of yeast biomass which could be beneficial for gut development and health and effective in immune system stimulation. The product under the development would contain the multicarbohydrase enzyme in combination with yeast-derived product supplementation which showed benefits with regard to health status and growth performance of poultry. The multicarbohydrase preparation of enzymes, currently in use in poultry feeding programs, would be further fortified with the yeast cell wall lytic activity to depolymerize the yeast cell wall polysaccharides so they become water-soluble and thus more bioactive. In addition, yeast cell lysis would lead to the release of a variety of nutrients, including nucleotides, which may play a role in immune system development. This enzyme/yeast-based supplementation may be a natural alternative to antibiotics.  A reduction in the use of antibiotics via dietary means for enhanced gastrointestinal health and function would be welcomed in the feed industry.


$480,000 (AAFC/CPRC $320,000*, Canadian Bio-Systems $88,000 ($8,000 in-kind), Canola Council of Canada $72,000)


*This research was part of the Poultry Science Cluster 2 which was supported by AAFC as part of Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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