A recent trial conducted in Greece set out to evaluate the effects of pomegranate and onion on broiler chicks’ performance and welfare status, as well as on the chemical composition and oxidative stability of the meat.
The authors of the study note that broiler diet supplementation with natural feed additives, such as different phytobiotics, are proven to exert positive effects on animals’ health performance and stress response. In addition, these phytobiotics, which are natural, non-toxic and chemical-residue-free, are related to increased animal productivity, elevated welfare indices and improved final product quality.
“Pomegranate and onion are both widely known plants that present extensive antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and are considered promising feed additives for application in poultry diets,” note the authors.
During this study, 120 day-old male chicks were allocated to 3 treatments with 4 replicate pens (10 chicks per pen). Broiler chicks in the control group were fed typical commercial rations in mash form based on maize and soybean meal. The rations of the other 2 treatments were supplemented with the mixture of pomegranate and onion aqueous and cyclodextrin extracts at the level of 0.1% of the feed, respectively. At the end of the trial (day 35), tissue samples were collected for analysis.
While performance parameters and welfare status were not affected, the authors confirmed that the study showed that the enrichment of broilers’ diet with a mixture of pomegranate and onion aqueous or cyclodextrin extracts beneficially modified the meat composition by increasing protein and lowering fat, favourably affected meat composition, colour parameters, TBARS and protein carbonyls. Diet supplementation also increased omega-3 fatty acids, as well as omega-6 fatty acids in the thigh meat.
“Aqueous and cyclodextrin pomegranate and onion peel extracts may provide a promising additive to the broilers diet with functional properties, in the absence of stressful conditions,” the authors concluded.
*The information in this article was extracted from a journal published in MDPI.