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Study Shows Essential Oils May Help Control Salmonella

11 April 2013

US - A blend of essential oils (0.05 per cent) in drinking water reduced Salmonella Heidelberg colonisation in the crops of challenged broilers and improved bird performance, report researchers based at the University of Georgia.

The essential oil blend used in the study may control Salmonella Heidelberg contamination in crops of broilers when administered in drinking water and therefore may reduce the potential for cross-contamination of the carcass when the birds are processed.

That was the conclusion drawn by W.Q. Alali of the University of Georgia and colleagues there and at Southern Poultry Research (Athens, Georgia) and Vytol BioSystems (Oakland, Nebraska).

In Poultry Science, they report the effect of an essential oil blend (carvacrol, thymol, eucalyptol, lemon) administered in drinking water on the performance, mortality, water consumption, pH of crop and caeca and Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg faecal shedding and colonisation in broiler birds following Salmonella Heidelberg challenge and feed withdrawal.

Chicks were randomly assigned to water treatments containing 0.05, 0.025, or 0.0125 per cent of the essential oil blend or untreated controls. Treatments were administered in drinking water on 0 to 7 and 35 to 42 days. One-half of the chicks were challenged with Salmonella Heidelberg and placed in pens with unchallenged chicks on day 1. Performance, mortality, water consumption and pH were determined during the 42-day study. Prevalence of Salmonella Heidelberg was determined on drag swabs (0, 14, and 42 d) and in the ceca and crops (42 days).

The 0.05 per cent essential oil blend administered in drinking water significantly (P<0.05) reduced Salmonella Heidelberg colonisation in crops of challenged birds, significantly lowered the feed conversion ratio and increased weight gain compared with controls.

The 0.025 per cent and 0.0125 per cent essential oil blend in drinking water significantly lowered the feed conversion ratio and increased weight gain compared with controls but did not significantly reduce Salmonella Heidelberg colonisation in the crops.

The essential oil blend in drinking water did not significantly reduce Salmonella Heidelberg colonisation in caeca or faecal shedding in broilers.

Reference

Alali W.Q., C.L. Hofacre, G.F. Mathis and G. Faltys. 2013. Effect of essential oil compound on shedding and colonization of Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg in broilers. Poult. Sci. 92 (3):836-841.doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02783

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

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