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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #278282

Title: Developing Natural Solutions to Reducing Food Safety Pathogens in Organically Raised Poultry

item Donoghue, Ann - Annie
item Moyle, Jonathan
item VENKITANARAYANAN, K - University Of Connecticut
item REYES-HERRERA, IXCHEL - University Of Arkansas
item WOOMING, A - University Of Arkansas
item ARSI, K - University Of Arkansas
item DONOGHUE, DAN - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2012
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Organic poultry production is one of the fastest growing segments of organic agriculture with a 20% increase/yr since the establishment of the National Organic Program (NOP). Restrictions on prophylactic antibiotics used for conventional poultry production raise unique challenges for organic producers, yet there is minimal research focusing on their needs. In addition, the outdoor access requirement for organic production increases exposure to potential disease vectors, such as rodents and wild birds. Our overall goal is to study the effectiveness of natural strategies in the control of food borne pathogens in poultry raised under organic conditions, while assisting organic producers to comply with the requirements of the NOP. Research from our laboratories indicates that natural compounds such as fatty acids and essential plant oils have antimicrobial efficacy against poultry enteric pathogens and could provide solutions to address food safety concerns in organic production systems. These compounds are all natural, have been listed as “Generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) by the FDA. Caprylic acid is a food grade medium-chain fatty acid that is naturally found in milk and coconut oil. We evaluated the efficacy of caprylic acid administration in market-age birds already colonized with Campylobacter (therapeutic efficacy). Birds were challenged with Campylobacter at three weeks of age. Caprylic acid was given the last 7 days of the trial. On day 42, ceca were collected and Campylobacter counts determined. Caprylic acid consistently reduced Campylobacter compared to positive control. We also evaluated the efficacy of trans-cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon, thymol from thyme or oregano and eugenol from clove. In studies similar to those with caprylic acid, these compounds demonstrated efficacy against Campylobacter and Salmonella. The results suggest that supplementation of caprylic acid and natural plant extracts in the feed can reduce food born pathogens in poultry and show promise as a tool for organic producers. Funded by USDA OREI Program 2011-01955.