15/11/2023 Pigs Poultry

In recent years, the escalating global concern over antibiotic resistance, particularly in animal agriculture, has prompted regulatory actions. The European Union and numerous other nations have implemented bans on the use of Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs). In response to this issue, there is a pressing need for alternatives that are not only safe and easy to handle but also devoid of microbial resistance, especially in the treatment of various diseases in poultry and other animals. 

Although decontamination of feed and water offers a certain degree of safety, the search remains for bactericidal and antimicrobial agents that can work actively in all environments – whether in feed, water or in the animal itself.

The use of organic acids (OAs) has emerged as a strategic approach to address health problems in animals. However, the problem of OAs is that they are active only in the upper gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and cannot reach the lower GIT. This obstacle has been overcome by esterifying OAs with glycerol. The covalent bond formed between glycerol and fatty acids makes it pH-independent, allowing it to exert its activity throughout the GIT. Monoglycerides are efficiently absorbed into the bloodstream via the lymphatic system.

(A) Esterification reaction of a fatty acid and glycerol to form α-monoglyceride. (B) Formation of α-monobutyrin after esterification of butyric acid and glycerol.

The monoglycerides of C4 and C3 have been shown to be highly effective against Gram-negative pathogens (such as E. Coli and Salmonella) and promote the eubiotic approach to gut health. With glycerol as a hydrophilic component, it facilitates the transfer of fatty acids to bacteria, releasing their potent antimicrobial activity. In addition, these monoglycerides have the ability to block Glycerol Uptake Facilitators (GUF), a type of channels on bacterial membranes responsible for glycerol transport. This blockade prevents bacteria from absorbing glycerol and disrupts their normal function. These substances are very effective against chronic Colibacillosis and Salmonellosis in poultry. Being safe to use, they have no harmful effects on the poultry’s vital organs.

Of this group, C12 is the outstanding one, known as monolaurin, famous for its safety, non-toxicity and adverse effects on bacteria, enveloped viruses, and fungi. Research suggests that the bactericidal and antiviral power of monolaurin comes from its ability to dissolve the lipid membranes of these micro-organisms. Moreover, this molecule has anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to the improvement of the immune system in animals. Trials underline the ability of monolaurin to increase vaccination titres against IBV in broilers.

Monolaurin shows remarkable efficacy against a spectrum of fungi, yeasts and bacteria and offers a potential solution for the treatment of complex bacterial complications, alone or in combination with antibiotics. This therapeutic application is gaining importance in the face of challenging bacterial resistance, exemplified by MRSA and ESBL, which threaten animals, producers, and human consumers.

At Olus, we develop and produce monoglycerides of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Our feed additives Elan®C12, Elan®Plus C4 and Elan®AC34 are based on monoglycerides. All these products promote optimal gut health in farm animals and reduce the risk of disease transmission in a post-antibiotic era. Feeding these products to livestock reduces health problems and improves animal performance.



Muhammad Suleman – Regional Manager South East Asia and Middle East

Muhammad Suleman, Regional Manager for Southeast Asia and the Middle East, has joined the Olus team since 2023. His involvement with Olus brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for the poultry industry. With years of experience and extensive knowledge of the complexities of poultry farming, Muhammad has a deep understanding of the market. Within Olus, he is actively involved in developing new feed additives and exploring nutritional strategies to improve gut health and performance in a sustainable way.