A. A. FOTINA1 , V. I. FISININ2 and P. F. SURAI3
1 Sumy National Agrarian University, Sumy, Ukraine
2 All Russian Institute of Poultry Husbandry, Sergiev Posad, Russia
3 Feed-Food Ltd., UK; Scottish Agricultural College, UK; Odessa National Academy of Food Technology, Odessa, Ukraine
FOTINA, A. A., V. I. FISININ and P. F. SURAI, 2013. Recent developments in usage of natural antioxidants to improve chicken meat production and quality. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 19: 889-896
For the majority of organisms on Earth, life without oxygen is impossible. Animals, plants and many microorganisms rely on oxygen for the efficient production of energy. However, the high oxygen concentration in the atmosphere is potentially toxic for living organisms. Recently free radical research has generated valuable information for further understanding not only detrimental, but also beneficial role of free radicals in cell signalling and other physiological processes. The benefit or harm of free radicals ultimately depends on the level of their production and efficiency of antioxidant defence. During evolution, living organisms have developed specific antioxidant protective mechanisms to deal with ROS. Therefore, the presence of natural antioxidants in living organisms is the major factor that enables their survival in an oxygen-rich environment. The protective antioxidant compounds are located in organelles, sub cellular compartments or the extra cellular space, enabling maximum cellular protection to occur. Natural antioxidants, including vitamin E, Se, carotenoids, carnitine and some others play important roles in chicken nutrition by maintaining antioxidant defences of their tissues. Optimal antioxidant supplementation is shown to be important to maintain high growth rate, immunocompetence and meat quality of growing broiler chicks. A new technology based on vita-gene concept has been developed to deal with various stresses by supplementing a complex mixture of antioxidants and other important elements via drinking water.