Feed supplementation with inulin on broiler performance and meat quality challenged with Clostridium perfringens: Infection and prebiotic impacts.


Department of Animal Science, University of Santa Catarina State, Chapecó, SC, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


Following the ban on the use of antibiotics as growth enhancers in 2006 by the European Union, alternative products have been sought. Inulin is a prebiotic that is found naturally in many plants. It reaches large intestine of animals unaltered, where it is fermented by beneficial bacteria that comprise the intestinal microbiota. Inulin also inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Consumption of inulin in chicken diets improves performance at slaughter; nevertheless, little is known about its effects on poultry meat. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of inulin on feeding of broilers challenged with Clostridium perfringens (4.0 × 108 CFU) and its consequences on the quality of breast meat. Four hundred Cobb male broiler chickens were distributed in a completely randomized design with four treatments and five replications each, as follows: T1: control treatment, basal diet (DB); T2: DB + 21-day challenged with C. perfringens orally; T3: DB + 21-day challenge with C. perfringens orally +25 mg/kg inulin; T4: DB + 21-day challenge by C. perfringens orally +4.4 mg/kg lincomycin. There were no significant differences between treatments in terms of pH, color parameters (L, a*, b*), water retention capacity, or shear force cooking weight loss. However, we found that the meat of poultry challenged by C. perfringens showed lower lipid peroxidation and increased activity of the antioxidant enzymes SOD and CAT, suggesting improvement in antioxidant profile. Nitrate/nitrite levels were lower with T3 and higher with T4 than with T1. We therefore conclude that inulin can replace antibiotics as growth promoters without causing changes in the physicochemical characteristics of meat. C. perfringens challenge caused lower lipid peroxidation and stimulated antioxidant responses in breast meat.


Antioxidant,Birds,Lipid peroxidation,Pathogenesis,Prebiotic,

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