Ralco announced on May 8 that, in a trial conducted at South Dakota State University, a natural, plant-based essential oil product, Regano EX, improved growth performance and meat quality when broilers were experiencing a coccidiosis disease challenge. The trial compared Regano EX to the standard coccidiostat and antibiotic program.
The trial treated coccidiosis-challenged broilers with a standard coccidiostat and antibiotic program and Regano EX, a natural alternative. Birds fed Regano EX had significantly higher body weights than the control birds and similar weights to the birds fed the coccidiostat and antibiotic program. In addition, birds fed Regano EX had reduced lipid oxidation compared to birds offered no supplementations. “These findings have the potential to positively impact the industry by extending the shelf life of broilers in a way that remains natural and meets the needs of the producer and the consumer,” said Dr. Bob Stock, Ralco’s Director of Research and Development for Poultry Science.
“The research related to many essential oil products has been variable, inconsistent and, at times, inconclusive, but being in this space for well over a decade, we are proving that you can get consistent and repeatable results with Regano EX,” says Stock. Regano EX takes an innovative approach by utilizing a patented process for creating Microfused Essential Oils which increases the effectiveness of the oils. “The microfusion process not only adds stability and shelf life to the oils, it also offers protection so they can be added to an existing production process,” says Stock.
Consumer pressure for antibiotic-free meat products has led to increased research in the area of antibiotic alternatives, including essential oils. Sales of antibiotics for chickens, for example, were cut by 47%, according to a 2017 FDA report—a dramatic decrease likely tied to the industry’s consumer-driven shift toward antibiotic-free production.