Glycerin – a New Energy Source for Poultry

Positive responses are obtained with glycerol content up to 10 per cent in poultry diets, according to a review of the literature by researchers from Arkansas and Yangling.
calendar icon 1 January 2011
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Glycerin, known as glycerol or glycerine, is the principal co-product of biodiesel production, produced through a NaOH- or KOH-catalysed transesterification of the triacylglycerols in oils or fats with an alcohol, according to Y.N. Min of the University of Arkansas in the US and co-authors there and at Northwest A&F University in Yangling, China.

In their paper published in International Journal of Poultry Science, they continue that glycerin is known to be a valuable ingredient for producing food, soaps, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Currently, with plenty of glycerin available to the world market, more uses are expected to develop, especially as a potential energy source for poultry diets, with approximately 4,100kcal per kg of gross energy. Moreover, they say, glycerin also plays a critical role in body cellular metabolism.

Results from different laboratories on the use of glycerin as feed energy source for poultry are discussed in this article.

Positive responses are obtained with glycerol content up to 10 per cent in poultry diets. The nitrogen-corrected apparent metabolisable energy (AMEn) also has been measured in several experiments.

More indices, such as carcass performance and blood parameters, need to be determined in further studies, concluded Min and co-authors.


Min Y.N., F. Yan, F.Z. Liu, C. Coto and P.W. Waldroup. 2010. Glycerin – a new energy source for poultry. International Journal of Poultry Science, 9(1): 1-4.

Further Reading

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November 2011
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