20. BOKU-Symposium Animal Nutrition 28th of April 2022

General topic: Bioactive substances in animal nutrition: Functions and the future

Bioactive substances are found in animal feed and usually do not have a nutritional value, but a health-promoting effect. Most bioactive substances originate from the group of secondary plant metabolites.

Secondary plant metabolites perform physiological functions that are essential for the interaction between plants and their environment. These include defense mechanisms (tannins, alkaloids), visual signaling between plants and animals (flavonoids, carotenoids) and aroma formation (terpenoids). A large number of secondary plant metabolites interact with nutrients and the gut microbiota.

Thus, they synergistically or antagonistically influence the absorption, retention and excretion of these nutrients. In a broader sense, also cell wall constituents of plants are bioactive substances, affecting digestibility, functionality, morphology and fermentability in the gastrointestinal tract.

Many secondary plant substances are potentially transferred into products such as milk, eggs, meat and fish, and as such, directly impact food quality and subsequently human health. From this perspective, the process-oriented use of secondary metabolites in research is becoming increasingly important.

In addition to the optimization of nutrient utilization in the intermediate metabolism of farm animals and the provision of high-quality food of animal origin, a contribution can also be made to the reduction of emissions of climate-relevant gases, such as methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide from agricultural production.

The BOKU Symposium Animal Nutrition 2022 deals with bioactive substances in animal nutrition. The symposium is intended to document various aspects of the subject in numerous contributions and to inform about the current state of scientific knowledge. In addition, there are opportunities to present current research work in animal nutrition – in the context of selected short lectures and posters – which go beyond the scope of the general topic.

More details will follow soon!