Effects of dietary supplementation of red pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi) essential oil on performance, small intestinal morphology and microbial counts of weanling pigs.

PubMed ID: 28631826


Cairo PLG, Gois FD, Sbardella M, Silveira H, de Oliveira RM, Allaman IB, Cantarelli VS, Costa LB

J Sci Food Agric. Jun 2017. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.8494

Many strategies have been developed to improve intestinal health and performance of newly weaned piglets as the antibiotic growth promoters. Natural products such as essential oils have been scientifically recognized as growth enhancer feed additives for weanling pigs, replacing the antibiotics. Therefore, it has been hypothesized that Brazilian red pepper could replace performance-enhancing antibiotics also in weanling pig diets. However, one experiment was conducted to determine the effects of dietary Brazilian red pepper essential oil or antimicrobial growth promoter on intestinal health and growth performance of weanling pigs.No effects of treatments were observed on performance and organ weights (P > 0.05). Overall, both additives (RPEO or ANT) increased gut Lactobacillus counts compared to negative control, as well as reduced villi density (P < 0.05). Animals fed diets containing 1.5 g kg(-1) RPEO presented the lowest incidence of diarrhea (P < 0.05).Our findings suggested that essential oil or chlorohydroxyquinoline added in weanling pig diets affect gut microbiota and histology without affecting performance and organ weights. In addition, there was an indication that high doses of essential oil could reduce diarrhea incidence.