Animal production without antibiotics?

Animal production without antibiotics?

With the crisis of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the eyes of the world have turned again to animal production. Having drawn attention to health issues. This is because conventional productions are poles of future epidemics.

The use of antibiotics and other drugs is essential for animal health, well-being, and productivity, in addition to ensuring the health of humans. However, there is a cloud of global concern that grows on a perennial basis, due to the resistance of pathogenic microorganisms to antimicrobials. In natural environments, microorganisms adapt and create resistance spontaneously to resist imposed adversities. However, the use, mainly of antibiotics, accelerates in an unknown way the resistance of these pathogens to different chemical groups and active ingredients.

However, antibiotics are used to preserve human and animal health. In addition to clinical uses, they have been used as growth promoters for more than 70 years in chicken and pig cultures. In this context, subtherapeutic doses are used, acting only as a microbiota balancer, restricting some groups of possible pathogens, thus giving benefits to beneficial groups.

In this scenario, with the emergence of superbugs, epidemics, and pandemics, consumers are more attentive and demanding with the quality and production processes of food. In this way, the appreciation for healthy and sustainable and growing consumption. And antibiotic-free production grows, meeting the demands and advances in regulatory requirements.

On the other hand, it is known that production without any modifier of the microbiota mainly prevents poultry production. Therefore, the use of different additives as an alternative has been studied.

Among several we can mention:

  • Organic acids;
  • Probiotics;
  • Prebiotics;
  • Symbiotics;
  • Phytogenics;
  • Blends.

The use of organic acids promotes enzymatic activation, control of bacteria by changes in intestinal pH, and improves the production of bile salts. Probiotics are living organisms that act in a beneficial way to the host. These beneficial microorganisms bind to sites in the intestinal mucosa, “excluding” pathogenic bacteria from those sites. Food supplements, prebiotics, benefit the healthy bacteria in the intestine. When probiotics and prebiotics are added together, we have symbiotics, which are probiotics with a greater survival and adaptation apparatus. Phytogenics, potentiating vegetable compounds added to the diet can be antibacterial, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. Finally, blends, are composed of more than one product, which can be a blend of different phytogenics, organic and phytogenic acids, among others.

Therefore, with these alternatives, we can infer that animal production without antibiotics is viable, and it is already the future. Brazil as a giant producer of protein of animal origin is attentive and following the evolution of the most demanding markets, such as the European Union, which, since 2006, has been fighting animal production without growth-promoting antibiotics.

Guided by sustainability and safer production, we at OPTA have in our portfolio zootechnical additives, organic acids, enzymes, and ingredients aligned to meet the great challenges, as well as a robust nutritional strategy to improve TGI. For more information contact us.


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