15 Jan 2024
MICOALGA-FEED: Transforming Poultry Nutrition with Fungi and Algae
The MICOALGA-FEED project demonstrates that combining the active molecules of fungi and algae results in a positive effect on poultry feed and nutrition.
In a recent entry, we explored the advantages that coffee grounds offer in the diet of ruminants, acknowledging the findings of the Spanish initiative LIFE ECOFFEED. Now, our attention shifts to different groundbreaking ingredients targeting poultry nutrition, as highlighted in a study conducted in Spain and concluded in 2023.
MICOALGA-FEED, as a Supra-Autonomous Operational Group, centered its efforts on the project bearing its name. This project aimed to eliminate antibiotics in the realm of poultry nutrition, drawing inspiration from One Health (WHO). The outcomes of this endeavor served as a noteworthy illustration of animal nutrition innovation in the year 2023.
To accomplish this, they promoted the exploration of novel formulations involving fungi and algae as dietary supplements. The goal was to enhance the immune system of species, actively pursuing their “inhibitory and antimicrobial effects.”
The funding for the initiative came predominantly from FEADER (80%) and MAPA (20%).
According to information on its official website, MICOALGA-FEED decided to focus on fungi due to the fact that certain varieties:
“…possess significant antioxidant capabilities, enhance animal welfare, and boost production performance.”
Conversely, their perspective on algae stemmed from the observation that:
“The microalgae biomass serves advantageous biochemical and physiological roles, including promoting growth and offering antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory functions.”
MICOALGA-FEED allocated its resources and efforts to six distinct activities:
- “Ingredient production”
- “In vitro screening of fungi and microalgae”
- “Production of feed and assessment of functional effects”
- “Simulation of avian gastrointestinal digestion”
- “Analytical characterization”
- “In vivo evaluation in an experimental farm”
Among the findings from the final stage, a decrease in bird mortality was observed. Furthermore:
“Regarding the results of zootechnical indices, it was determined that MICOALGA-FEED feeds exhibited substantial differences compared to commercial counterparts. Notable distinctions were noted in terms of weight and consumption, whereas the conversion index showed a recovery to expected values.”
You can consult the findings, additional data, and the exact methodology of the research by clicking here.