EAAP 2019: Ghent takes a glimpse into the future

Latest test results let Dr. Eckel’s Anta®Phyt deliver great performance at the EAAP conference

It felt like the future was upon us at the 70th annual meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), which took place in Ghent this year. Under the topic ‘Animal farming for a healthy world’, about 1,500 animal scientists from across Europe discussed the most important issues facing the industry: from resource efficiency to animal welfare. More than 700 lectures and 540 posters highlighted current findings and achievements aimed at advancing animal health, nutrition, production or breeding.

At the EAAP conference, Dr. Eckel presented its latest findings regarding a research study with broilers. These clearly show that the use of the phytogenic additive Anta®Phyt can markedly improve the performance and quality of broilers, while also providing the liver with a stabilized vitamin A and vitamin C content.

Apart from the scientific programme, industry networking and numerous on-site visits to farms were on the agenda, which culminated at the conference gala dinner.

The effects of a phytogenic feed additive on broiler performance, meat quality and the liver

The application of phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) is a promising way to promote health in broilers and increase performance. The main benefit of this approach is the PFAs’ positive influence on gut health, such as that originating from antimicrobial activity against pathogens, which includes reduced bacterial colony counts, fewer fermentation products (such as ammonia and biogenic amines), less activity of the gut-associated lymphatic system, and better nutrient digestion (Windisch et al., 2008).

The objective of this feeding trial was to study the effect of a PFA (combination of phytogenics) on the carcass quality, vitamin content of the liver and performance of broiler chickens.

Materials & methods

A total of 727 five-day-old broiler chicks (Hubbard ISA) were randomly assigned to two diet groups. The dietary treatments consisted of a negative control with a basal diet (NC; n = 362) and a positive control with 400 g/t PFA (Anta®Phyt MO, Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition GmbH & Co KG) added to the basal diet (PFA; n = 365). The birds were slaughtered at 42 days of age, and the composition of the breast muscle tissue as well as the vitamin content of the liver were determined. ANOVA was used to analyse the results.


Application of the PFA resulted in improved performance parameters (p < 0.05). The average daily weight gain and live weight at the end of the trial were 4% higher (56.5 g vs 58.8 g and 2,412 g vs 2,510 g respectively). In addition, the feed conversion ratio improved significantly by 3.9% (1:1.79 vs 1.72) and mortality decreased from 3.6% to 2.6%. These benefits are reflected in an increase in the European Production Efficiency Factor by 6.0% (322.7 vs 304.3) in the PFA group.

Fig. 1: Final live weight and feed conversion rate in the negative control and Anta®Phyt MO groups (*p<0.05)


The meat quality and vitamin content of the liver numerically improved in the PFA group. The nutritional value of the breast muscle increased slightly in comparison to the NC (protein: +0.9%; fat: +2.7%). In addition, the softness of the meat was 4.2% higher, which could be explained by the higher intramuscular fat distribution and marbling. The PFA also increased the vitamin A (109.5 ppm vs 103.3 ppm) and vitamin C (4.15 ppm vs 4.03 ppm) content of the broilers’ livers.

Fig. 2: Breast muscle composition and vitamin A content in the negative control and Anta®Phyt MO groups


Discussion & conclusions

Supplementation with Anta®Phyt MO significantly improved broiler performance, meat quality and the vitamin content of the liver. Consequently, the application of PFAs increases supports health and production efficiency naturally.



(Windisch, W., K. Schedle, C. Plitzner and A. Kroismayr. 2008. Use of phytogenic products as feed additives for swine and poultry. J. Anim. Sci. 86(E. Suppl.):E140-E148.)