Novus: Delivering maximum poultry productivity
Executive Talk
Poultry nutrition is at the forefront of a worldwide movement towards replacing antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) with nutrition and management solutions that boost protein production without negative public perception.
Leveraging its long, proud history of industry- defining poultry health innovations, U.S.-based Novus International, Inc. continues to drive science-based efforts in the push to reduce the need for antibiotics by providing products and programs that support the health and welfare of poultry in every production environment.
Towards this end, we interviewed Dr. Frances Yan, Senior Scientist for Poultry Nutrition at Novus International, who provided us insights on AVIMATRIX® feed supplement, a unique blend of nature-identical flavouring compounds proven to stabilize gut microflora.
What is AVIMATRIX® feed supplement? How does it differ compared to tributyrin?
AVIMATRIX® features benzoic acid embedded in a lipid matrix and tributyrin is an ester composed of butyric acid and glycerol.
What advantages and disadvantages of using AVIMATRIX® compared to tributyrin? What is the biochemical basis for differences and similarities in how they affect poultry performance?
In this research trial, we observed they delivered similar performance enhancing benefits, but it seemed that AVIMATRIX® feed supplement was more effective in improving gut morphometry and modifying gut microbiota. These differences could come from the fact that they are different acids and they are protected with different technology.
Can embedding butyric acid or calcium butyrate within a suitable lipid compound improve its performance compared to conventional tributyrin or AVIMATRIX®?
In this trial, calcium butyrate encapsulated in a fat matrix was tested and its efficacy was not as good as tributyrin or AVIMATRIX®. It is unknown how embedding butyric acid within a lipid matrix would change its efficacy.
Are there species or situations where calcium butyrate is more effective than sodium butyrate or vice-versa?
I am not aware of any species or situations that calcium butyrate is more effective than sodium butyrate.
Did your trials take into account the possible synergistic effects of calcium formate and fumaric acid on the protected benzoic acid?
Benzoic acid is the primary component of AVIMATRIX® feed supplement, and it is possible that synergistic effects exist between benzoic acid, calcium formate and fumaric acid. While the experiment is not designed to test the synergistic effects, any synergistic effects, if present, are expected to be reflected in growth performance and gut health measurements.
How much FCR improvement did AVIMATRIX®, free benzoic acid, calcium butyrate and sodium butyrate provide over the control group?
2.1, 2.0, and 3.3 points of significant numerical improvement in FCRs during days 0 to 19 of the trials were observed for AVIMATRIX®, tributyrin, and sodium butyrate respectively. 1.5 and 0.9 points numerical improvement in FCRs were seen for free benzoic acid and encapsulated calcium butyrate respectively.
What is the biochemical causation mechanism that accounts for superior FCRs in birds supplemented with AVIMATRIX® compared to other compounds and the control group?
The difference observed could be due to different types of acid (benzoic acid vs butyric acid), different forms (acid vs ester, sodium or calcium salts) and different physical protection (embedded in fat or free).
Did AVIMATRIX®'s improved FCRs coincide with less gut inflammation? Better immune system response to challenges?
In this trial, the FCR improvement for AVIMATRIX® agreed with gut morphometry and gut microbiota modification.
How much did AVIMATRIX® reduce E. coli and C. perfringens bacterial counts compared to the control group?
AVIMATRIX® feed supplement reduced E. coli counts by 64% from 0.14 percent to 0.03 percent of the total bacteria, and reduced C. perfringens by 73%, from 0.022 0/000 to 0.0060/000.
Why did AVIMATRIX® reduce both E. coli and C. perfringens bacterial counts whereas the other compounds tested only reduced one bacterial species or the other but not both?
Its advantage in reducing pathogens is probably from both benzoic acid itself and the protection of benzoic acid, which makes it unique among the tested compounds.
Do you have any studies to share about the efficacy of AVIMATRIX® in comparison to conventional coccidiostats?
Gut health benefits observed when using AVIMATRIX® lead us to believe it would be advantageous to use it with coccidiostats to control coccidiosis, but not replace them.
What advantages does lipid protected benzoic acid in AVIMATRIX® feed supplement offer over free form benzoic acid?
Protection prevents benzoic acid from being absorbed quickly in the proximal gastrointestinal tract of animals and helps in delivering it to the lower part of gastrointestinal tract where it is needed the most. It also has better handling properties.
Does use of a lipid to encapsulate AVIMATRIX® make its benzoic acid effective without damaging the gut? If so, are there other growth promoting compounds whose effectiveness could be enhanced in a similar manner?
Even without protection, benzoic acid, when properly dosed, should not damage the gut. The lipid protection just makes it more efficient. It is believed that the efficacy of most organic acids could be improved by proper lipid protection technology.
Did the lipid encapsulation of AVIMATRIX® feed supplement account for the fact that it was the only compound which improved the jejunal crypt depth to villus ratio?
I think it accounts at least partially for the fact. The other factor could be from the advantage of benzoic acid over butyric acid in different forms.
Are you researching new ways of delivering benzoic and butyric acid in a protective lipid compound appropriate for other species?
Novus is always looking for new and innovative ways to help achieve and overcome the global food challenge. By looking at new product combinations, concepts and research, we are keeping up with the latest technologies to stay competitive and best serve our customers.
Is there scope for using AVIMATRIX® synergistically with other compounds? Other known natural growth promoters? Is this a research frontier?
Potentially, AVIMATRIX® feed supplement could work synergistically with phytogenics, probiotics, prebiotics etc. We are in the process of exploring its synergistic effect with other products.
Is AVIMATRIX® designed to handle challenges which can happen in all types of production environments (AGP-free or not), such as heat stress, mycotoxin contamination, and bacterial or viral co-infections?
AVIMATRIX® feed supplement has been shown to improve gut morphometry and modify gut microbiota, promoting a healthier gut, which conditions birds to better defend themselves against all types of enteric insults including bacterial or viral infection or mycotoxin contamination. However, it is not meant to be a treatment for these conditions.
Do you believe AVIMATRIX® could work equally well in other poultry or non-poultry species and why?
Research has successfully demonstrated that AVIMATRIX® feed supplement works well in layer, turkey, and broiler diets. Through work with similar products, we have observed the same result in swine. AVIMATRIX® is not offered in ruminant species.
How does AVIMATRIX® tie in with Novus's poultry meat quality and maternal health solutions?
Healthy gut microbiota as indicated by lower counts of E. coli and C. perfringens is expected to reduce carcass contamination with pathogens. Better feed conversion ratio enables more efficient production of meat from feed. Therefore, studies indicate that AVIMATRIX® can help poultry producers with both the quantity and quality of meat.

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