Devenish Nutrition undertakes major poultry research project

2nd March 2011

Devenish Nutrition undertakes major poultry research project

Project managers for the InterTradeIreland INNOVA project Mr Tom Horan, Carton Bros ( left ) and Dr Heather Hayes, Devenish Nutrition ( centre ) discuss project details with Mr Liam Nellis, CEO InterTradeIreland.

Devenish Nutrition is pleased to announce that in conjunction with Carton Brothers, Clonee it will undertake a major poultry research project to study the effect of chosen water soluble products on the Campylobacter population in broiler chickens. This project will be conducted over a two year period and substantial grant assistance for the study has been provided by InterTradeIreland through their INNOVA Research & Development support program.

Campylobacter are bacteria which cause gastroenteritis in humans and are recognized as the most frequently reported food-borne cause of gastroenteritis in humans within the European Union. Poultry meat is acknowledged as a potential source of the bacteria for human infection. Live birds can harbor high levels of Campylobacter in their intestines without exhibiting any signs of clinical disease. During bird processing, these bacteria can transfer onto the carcass, contaminating the poultry meat. Two main routes of human infection are suggested, namely undercooking of the poultry meat & / or cross contamination of ready-to-eat foods with bacteria from raw poultry meat.

The poultry industry is actively seeking to find effective methods of reducing Campylobacter carriage levels in poultry through industry led research such as the Devenish/Cartons INNOVA project. Strategies to reduce the Campylobacter population can be applied at various stages in the production chain including in the live bird, at the processing plant and/ or on the carcass. The Devenish/Cartons INNOVA project will target the Campylobacter population in the live bird thereby reducing the bacterial load entering the processing plant which should in turn reduce the risk of cross contamination of the poultry meat.

In vitro laboratory tests have demonstrated that a wide variety of feed additives exhibit antibacterial activity against Campylobacter but such activity must also be demonstrated in the live bird if carriage of the bacteria in commercial flocks is to be successfully reduced. The Devenish/Cartons INNOVA project will evaluate a range of additives applied via the drinking water for their effect on the Campylobacter population of the live bird prior to slaughter.

Liam Nellis, InterTradeIreland Chief Executive said: "We are very pleased to support this collaborative R & D project which brings together complimentary expertise from both jurisdictions combining Devenish Nutritionís skills in agri-technology with Carton Brothers experience in poultry production. In doing so, both companies will play an important role in tackling an issue that not only supports industry on the island but that has potential benefits for the health and wellbeing of our society."

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