2010 - 2013

Use of encapsulated essential oils for controlling enteric bacterial pathogens in chickens

Principal Investigator: Joshua Gong, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Co-investigator: Qi Wang and Moussa Sory Diarra, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Status: Completed


To optimize protocols to encapsulate essential oils and test their antimicrobial activity in target regions of the chicken gut.


A number of essential oils were previously shown to be inhibitive to Salmonella Typhimurium and Clostridium perfringens, however the presence of feed and digesta decreased this activity. A protocol was therefore developed to encapsulate the oils, with the intent of protecting them from the inhibiting effects of feed and digesta until they reach target regions in the gut. Current research is aimed at optimizing an encapsulation protocol for each oil to maximize its effect in the gut. The ability of these essential oils to protect chickens from Salmonella and Clostridium will be tested.


The levels of specific essential oils required for optimal antimicrobial activity in the gut have been established. The encapsulation protocol delivers active essential oil to the lower gut, but the protocol needs to be improved in order for the oil to withstand pelleting conditions during feed processing.


Essential oils delivered to appropriate regions of the gut under field conditions may serve as a practical alternative to antimicrobials currently used in the poultry industry.


$253,202 ($189,900 AAFC*, $63,202 CPRC)


*This research was part of the 2010-2013 Poultry Science Cluster which was supported by AAFC as part of Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

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