The effect of adding pomegranate seed extract to fat-containing diets on nutrients digestibility, intestinal microflora and growth performance of broilers

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Graduated from College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

3 Graduated from College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran


The present study was aimed at studying the effects of inclusion of pomegranate seed extract to fat-containing diets on nutrients digestibility, intestinal microflora and performance of broilers. A total of 320 one-day-old broiler chicks (Ross 308) were selected in a 2 × 2 × 2 factorial experiment in a completely randomized design with 4 replicates of 10 birds of each. The dietary treatments consisted of pomegranate seed extract (0 and 2%), commercial Nutriad® antioxidant (0 and 0.01%) and soybean oil without antioxidant (0 and 6% during the grower period and 0 and 8% for finisher period). The chicks were reared from 1 to 10 days in one group. On the eleventh day, 10 chicks per pen were randomly allocated to each cage per replicate. Data were performed in generalized linear model (GLM) procedures in SAS at 5% level of significance and the least square means correction after Tukey’s test was used. Commercial antioxidant improved crude fat digestibility and decreased population of caecum Lactobacillus, but pomegranate seed extract improved crude fat digestibility and increased caecum Lactobacillus population. Due to positive effects of pomegranate seed extract in fat containing diets on fat digestibility and Lactobacillus bacteria in caecum, it could be concluded that using pomegranate seed extract in fat containing diets could be useful.


Abbasi, H; Rezaei, K and Rashidi, L (2008). Extraction of essential oils from the seeds of pomegranate using organic solvents and supercritical CO2. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 85: 83-89.
Açıkgöz, Z; Bayraktar, H; Altan, Ö; Akhisaroglu, ST; Kırkpınar, F and Altun, Z (2011). The effects of moderately oxidised dietary oil with or without vitamin E supplementation on performance, nutrient digestibility, some blood traits, lipid peroxidation and antioxidant defence of male broilers. J. Sci. Food Agr., 91: 1277-1282.
Alberto, MR; Farías, ME and Manca de Nadra, MC (2001). Effect of gallic acid and catechin on Lactobacillus hilgardii 5w growth and metabolism of organic compounds. J. Agr. Food Chem., 49: 4359-4363.
Al-Zoreky, NS (2009). Antimicrobial activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit peels. Int. J. Food Microbiol., 134: 244-248.
Amad, AA; Manner, K; Wendler, KR; Neumann, K and Zentek, J (2011). Effects of a phytogenic feed additive on growth performance and ileal nutrient digestibility in broiler chickens. Poult. Sci., 90: 2811-2816.
AOAC (1990). Official Methods of Analysis. Association of Official Analytical Chemists. 15th Edn., Washington, D.C.
Brenes, A; Viveros, A; Goni, I; Centeno, C; Sayago-Ayerdy, SG; Arija, I and Saura-Calixto, F (2008). Effect of grape pomace concentrate and vitamin E on digestibility of polyphenols and antioxidant activity in chickens. J. Poult. Sci., 87: 307-316.
Cherian, G (2007). Metabolic and cardiovascular diseases in poultry: role of dietary lipids. J. Poult. Sci., 86: 1012-1016.
Cross, DE; Mcdevitt, RM; Hillman, K and Acamovic, T (2007). The effect of herbs and their associated essential oils on performance, dietary digestibility and gut microflora in chickens from 7 to 28 days of age. Brit. Poult. Sci., 48: 496-506.
Demir, E; Sarica, S; Ozcan, MA and Suicmez, M (2003). The use of natural feed additives as alternatives for antibiotic growth promoter in broiler diets. Brit. Poult. Sci., 44: 44-45.
Fischer, UA; Carle, R and Kammerer, DR (2011). Identification and quantification of phenolic compounds from pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) peel, mesocarp, aril and differently produced juices by HPLC-DAD–ESI/MS. Food Chem., 127: 807-821.
Gonzalez-Alvarado, JM; Jimenez-Moreno, E; Lazaro, R and Mateos, GG (2007). Effects of cereal, heat processing, and fiber on productive performance and digestive traits of broilers. Poult. Sci., 86: 1705-1715.
Halle, I; Thomann, R; Bauermann, U; Henning, M and Köhler, P (2004). Effects of a graded supplementation of herbs and essential oils in broiler feed on growth and carcass traits. Landbauforsch. Volk., 54: 219-229.
Hernandez, F; Madrid, J; Garcia, V; Orengo, J and Megias, MD (2004). Influence of two extract on performance, digestibility, and digestive organ size. Poult. Sci., 83: 169-174.
Jamroz, D; Wiliczkiewicz, A; Wertelecki, T; Orda, J and Skorupinska, J (2005). Use of active substances of plant origin in chicken diets based on maize and locally grown cereals. Brit. Poult. Sci., 46: 485-493.
Kamel, C (2001). Tracing modes of action and the roles of plant extracts in non-ruminants. In: Garnsworthy, PC and Wiseman, J (Eds.), Recent advances in animal nutrition. Nottingham, UK, Nottingham University Press. PP: 135-150.
Moure, A; Cruz, JM; Franco, D; Domı́nguez, JM; Sineiro, J; Domı́nguez, H and Parajó, JC (2001). Natural antioxidants from residual sources. Food Chem., 72: 145-171.
Namiki, M (1990). Antioxidants/antimutagens in food. Crit. Rev. Food Sci., 29: 273-300.
Quinn, PJ; Carter, ME; Markey, B and Carter, GR (1994). Clinical veterinary microbiology. 1st Edn., London, Wolfe Publishing. PP: 1-648.
Rezvani, M; Kluth, H; Elwert, C and Rodehutscord, M (2008). Effect of ileum segment and protein sources on net disappearance of crude protein and amino acids in laying hens. Brit. Poult. Sci., 49: 28-36.
Saleh, H; Golian, A; Kermanshahi, H and Mirakzehi, MT (2017). Antioxidant status and thigh meat quality of broiler chickens fed diet supplemented with α-tocopherolacetate, pomegranate pomace and pomegranate pomace extract. Iital. J. Anim. Sci., 17: 1-10.
SAS (2002). User’s Guide. Statistical Analysis Systems Institute Inc., Cary, NC.
Schiavone, A; Guo, K; Tassone, S; Gasco, L; Hernandez, E; Denti, R and Zoccarato, I (2008). Effects of a natural extract of chestnut wood on digestibility, performance traits, and nitrogen balance of broiler chicks. Poult. Sci., 87: 521-527.
Schwalfenberg, G (2006). Omega-3 fatty acids: their beneficial role incardiovascular health. Can. Fam. Physician. 52: 734-740.
Shabtay, A; Nikbacht, M; Zenou, A; Yosef, E; Arkin, O; Sneer, O; Shwimmer, A; Yarri, A; Budman, E; Agmond, G and Miron, J (2012). Effects of adding a concentrated pomegranate extract to the ration of lactating cows on performance and udder health parameters. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech., 175: 24-32.
Sklan, D (2001). Development of the digestive tract of poultry. World’s Poult. Sci. J., 57: 415-428.
Williams, CH; David, DJ and Ismaa, O (1962). The determination of chromic oxide in faces samples by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. J. Agric. Sci., 59: 381-385.
Zhang, W; Xiao, S; Lee, EJ and Ahn, DU (2010). Consumption of oxidized oil increases oxidative stress in broilers and affects the quality of breast meat. J. Agr. Food Chem., 59: 969-974.