Essential Oil Effects on Stored Soybean and Sunflower Meal


Essential Oil Effects on Stored Soybean and Sunflower Meal

Soybean meal and sunflower meal are by-products of the edible oil industry and used as a valuable protein source feedstuffs in poultry diets. These feedstuffs used in mixed feed production are at the risk of microbial contamination.

Mycotoxins are toxic compounds and some of them are also mutagenic, genotoxic, carcinogenic or teratogenic. Residues of mycotoxins may be found in food of animal origin (meat, milk, eggs and cheese) as the consequence of feed contamination1.

Recently, the use of spices and essential oils as antioxidants and antimicrobial agents in foods is becoming of increasing importance. Antioxidants have been widely used as food additives to provide protection against oxidative degradation of foods2. Generally, the extent of the antioxidant and antimicrobial effects of the essential oil could be attributed to their phenolic compositions.

Essential oils are one of the most efficient feed additives for mould prevention. For example, in different parts of world, attention has been paid to exploiting plant products as novel chemo-therapeutant and preservatives in plant protection and food storage3. Usage of essential oils in feedstuffs and feeds has been reported to reduce the growth of fungi, yeast and bacteria4.

In this context a new study was carried out to investigate the effects of fenugreek, coriander and thyme essential oils addition to common protein rich components of animal feeds on nutritional loss, color change, the growth of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), yeast and mould under varying storage times5.

According to the results of the present research, the effects of adding essential oils to soybean meal and sunflower meal on LAB, yeast, mould, nutrient losses and colour changes were different and positive at different storage times. The addition of essential oils to soybean meal and sunflower meal did not cause any adverse effects on LAB, yeast and mould formation during storage. The raw nutrient contents of feed stuffs were also not adversely affected by the increase in storage time.

The addition of essential oils to the feed stuffs was found to be mould inhibiting. Thyme essential oil is among the most commonly used and known essential oils due to its antimicrobial properties. Depending on the storage period, nutrients losses were probably affected by the addition of essential oil. In particular, the addition of essential oils to stored soybean meal and sunflower meal had a positive effect on the ether extract in storage time.

The study concluded that besides the physical and chemical structure of the feed stuffs, hygienic quality is also important. The microbial structure of the feed stuffs not only affects animal and human health negatively but also causes economic loss. Therefore, more scientific research is needed to determine the natural aromatic plants and their extracts with antioxidant activity.

Asian Journal of Plant Sciences


Essential oil, microbiology, soybean meal, sunflower meal, storage, physical and chemical structure, natural aromatic plants, mould inhibiting, of fenugreek, coriander and thyme essential oils.


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