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Open AccessArticle

Bioavailability of Methionine-Coated Zinc Nanoparticles as a Dietary Supplement Leads to Improved Performance and Bone Strength in Broiler Chicken Production

1
School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG25 0QF, UK
2
School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1482; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091482
Received: 13 July 2020 / Revised: 6 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 24 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut and Bone in Health and Disease)
Nanotechnology is becoming widely accepted and being adapted for use in different fields. In the animal feed sector, there is potential for delivery of minerals using a nano format to increase bioavailability and digestibility. Broiler chickens and zinc were chosen as a model for examining nano mineral delivery. The trial showed that amino acid coated zinc improved bird growth and feed consumption and also improved digestibility of zinc. A further benefit was an improvement in leg strength of the supplemented birds. This suggests that coated nano delivery of minerals can improve their bioavailability with implications for production of mineral supplements in the animal feed industry.
Recently, nanotechnology has been widely adopted in many fields. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential for amino acid coated nano minerals as a supplement in broiler feed. Zinc was selected as a model mineral for this test and supplementation of nano zinc, both coated and uncoated was compared with organic and inorganic commercial forms of zinc. A total of 48 pens (8 birds each) were assigned to one of the following dietary treatments: Control, methionine-Zinc chelate (M-Zn), nano zinc oxide (Nano-ZnO), and methionine coated nano zinc oxide (M-Nano-ZnO). All experimental diets were formulated with the same total zinc, methionine, protein, and energy content with just the zinc source as a variable. Bird weight, feed intake and feed conversion ratios were recorded weekly, with three birds culled (sacrificed) at day 21 and day 35 for sampling measures. Ileal digestibility of zinc was determined at day 21 and day 35 using titanium dioxide as an inert marker. Blood serum, liver and spleen samples were collected at day 21 and day 35 and analysed for zinc content via inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Tibia strength and morphometrics were measured from both legs of three birds per pen at day 21 and day 35. The study was conducted at Nottingham Trent University Poultry Unit, UK. The novel method of producing nano minerals coated with amino acids was successfully tested with zinc and material produced to test in the feeding study. Methionine coated nano zinc oxide supplementation significantly improved bird weight gain and the increased feed intake of broilers compared to an inorganic zinc form. Ileal digestibility was also improved with this methionine-nano zinc. Moreover, this supplementation improved the tibia strength of broilers at the age of 21 days, though this was not observed at day 35. Therefore, M-Nano-ZnO could be used to supplement broilers to improve both performance and digestibility with a limited positive impact on bone strength. The results of the current study suggest that the amino acid coating of nano minerals can improve the digestibility of minerals which may have further implications for the field of mineral nutrition in animal feeds. View Full-Text
Keywords: broiler; zinc supplementation; tibia; nanoparticle broiler; zinc supplementation; tibia; nanoparticle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alkhtib, A.; Scholey, D.; Carter, N.; Cave, G.W.V.; Hanafy, B.I.; Kempster, S.R.J.; Mekapothula, S.; Roxborough, E.T.; Burton, E.J. Bioavailability of Methionine-Coated Zinc Nanoparticles as a Dietary Supplement Leads to Improved Performance and Bone Strength in Broiler Chicken Production. Animals 2020, 10, 1482.

AMA Style

Alkhtib A, Scholey D, Carter N, Cave GWV, Hanafy BI, Kempster SRJ, Mekapothula S, Roxborough ET, Burton EJ. Bioavailability of Methionine-Coated Zinc Nanoparticles as a Dietary Supplement Leads to Improved Performance and Bone Strength in Broiler Chicken Production. Animals. 2020; 10(9):1482.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Alkhtib, Ashraf; Scholey, Dawn; Carter, Nicholas; Cave, Gareth W.V.; Hanafy, Belal I.; Kempster, Siani R.J.; Mekapothula, Subbareddy; Roxborough, Eve T.; Burton, Emily J. 2020. "Bioavailability of Methionine-Coated Zinc Nanoparticles as a Dietary Supplement Leads to Improved Performance and Bone Strength in Broiler Chicken Production" Animals 10, no. 9: 1482.

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