Phileo symposium delegates explore role for probiotics in sustainable poultry production

Satellite symposium at the 23rd European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition (ESPN) in Italy covered gut health, probiotics
calendar icon 25 July 2023
clock icon 4 minute read

The vital role played by probiotics in maintaining an optimum poultry microbiome balance and the beneficial impact of the patented GO Technology® powered probiotic, Microsaf®, on the successful development of sustainable poultry production were two of the highlights presented to around 100 poultry professionals during a satellite symposium at the 23rd European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition (ESPN) in Italy.

Organised by Phileo by Lesaffre, the satellite session featured presentations by Dr Ralph Rosenbaum, from IRTA Spain; Professor Todd Applegate from University of Georgia, USA; Dr Rober Kemperman from Lesaffre Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), and Dr Alain Riggi, Phileo’s Global Poultry Manager.

The keynote message from Dr Rosenbaum centred on the application of a shared holistic strategy and action plan, as designed in relation to the pursuit of sustainable poultry production.

Addressing the need to identify the right pathways to achieve a sustainable poultry industry, Dr Rosenbaum took his audience through a series of scenarios based on where to start, if they were to achieve a big impact. 

Feed materials, nutritional solutions, manure management and energy were all mentioned, each time with a clear focus on how making good choices in these areas might yield improvements in feed composition, daily growth rates, FCR and mortality.

Major take-home messages included the need for poultry producers and their industry partners to be wholly science-based in their decision-making and to continuously adapt to advances in knowledge. 

Professor Todd Applegate from University of Georgia, USA

There was also a warning to stakeholders that nobody can ‘do sustainability’ on their own, backed by a sharp reminder that the best return on investment will be found where the big impacts are. The challenge is to find those impacts.

Professor Applegate followed with a review of the latest research outcomes on poultry microbiome balance, as studied in relation to the use of current turbulent feed materials.

Exploring the ‘macro’ effects of microbial metabolites in broiler nutrition; the effect of ‘indigestibility’ on intestinal and microbial response, and the impact and role of probiotics in the sector, Prof. Applegate drew particular attention to the vital relationship that exists between the maintenance of a balanced microbiome and successful poultry production.

In looking at the role of probiotics within production, meanwhile, he pointed out several proven benefits, including trial evidence that probiotic supplementation has been shown to reduce the ‘cost’ of securing an immune response in poultry by 40%.

“Probiotics today, however, are not a commodity,” he said, adding that all products are ‘unique’ based on their selection criteria. Here again, the challenge for farmers and industry partners is to find the probiotics that work best within their own ‘unique’ systems.

Dr Rober Kemperman from Lesaffre Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

Dr Kemperman explained the features and benefits of Phileo by Lesaffre’s exclusive 3-patent Germination Optimisation Technology® (GO Technology®), a state-of-the-art process designed to promote faster and stronger Bacillus spore germination. 

The GO Technology®, he told the gathering, maximises the impact of Microsaf® within a short transit time of 4-6 hours, a time frame which has been proven to apply to most chickens.

The session concluded with a review by Dr Riggi of an extensive range of trial results focusing on the effect of Microsaf® on sustainable poultry production and emphasising the efficacy of probiotics across such systems.

Explaining that some selected spore-forming bacteria probiotics boost resistance to the demands of today’s production processes, while also delivering proven benefits after germination, he posed the key question of how poultry producers might deal with the fact that the average transition time within the poultry gut is just 4-6 hours. 

Dr Alain Riggi, Phileo’s Global Poultry Manager

The challenge, of course, is to achieve maximum impact from spore-forming bacteria probiotics in the poultry gut during such a short transition time, a task for which Microsaf® was developed, based on a unique association of three different Bacillus species, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus pumilus, all carefully selected to deliver improvements in feed efficiency, gut function, and microbiota, and overall growth performance in birds.

Session delegates included poultry professionals from many different countries, including India, China, Vietnam, US, EU, Brazil, Argentina and others.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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