Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    Macroalgae for Functional Feed Development: Applications in Aquaculture, Ruminant and Swine Feed Industries
    Plant and animal derived products are the main ingredients currently used by the feed industry to produce concentrate feed. There is a need of novel feed ingredients to meet the demand of high quality products by the aquaculture, ruminant and swine production systems, together with the challenge of implementing new sustainable and environmentally friendly processes and ingredients demanded by the modern society. Macroalgae are a large and diverse group of marine organisms that are able to produce a wide range of compounds with unique biological properties. This chapter discusses the incorporation of macroalgae or macroalgal derived ingredients as a source of both macro-nutrients (i.e., proteins, polysaccharides and fatty acids) and micro-nutrients (i.e., minerals and pigments) for animal feed production. The biological health benefits of the macroalgal ingredients beyond basic nutrition for the development of functional feed in the aquaculture, the ruminant and the swine sectors are also discussed together with the industrial challenges of its application.
  • Publication
    Influence of farm type (organic, conventional and intensive) on toxic metal accumulation in calves in NW Spain
    (Institute of Technology, Estonian University of Life Sciences, 2006-08-27) ; ; ; ; ;
    The aim of the present study was to determine how accumulation of toxic metals by beef-cattle in NW Spain varies between farms that have markedly different practices (including intensive, conventional and organic management) and to determine possible key factors affecting toxic metal assimilation by cattle. Soil, feed (forage and concentrate) and animal tissues (liver and kidney from 120 calves) were collected from nine farms across NW Spain and were analysed for metals by ICP-MS. Toxic metal concentrations in beef calves were generally low but did vary significantly between farms. There were no consistent patterns of difference in tissue metal concentrations between farms from different regions or between farms with different management practices. Variations in arsenic, cadmium and mercury concentrations in calf tissues were not significantly explained by soil or diet metal concentrations but were significantly and inversely related to the proportion of concentrate in the ration. Higher levels of metal residues in tissues were associated with consumption of low amounts of concentrate and relatively high levels of grazing. Higher toxic metal intake due to grazing is likely to be largely a result of soil ingestion.
  • Publication
    New Breeding Strategies in Organic Dairy Farming
    The selection of an appropriate breed in dairy farms will have a huge influence on the animals’ welfare and production. This is especially noticeable in animal production systems that aim to maximize the use of on-farm resources (low-input production), i.e., organic farms. The animal production in organic farming systems focuses on maximizing the utilization of forage and improving the animals’ health and welfare, while reducing the application of drugs routinely applied in the treatment and prevention of diseases in the conventional farms. Thus, the selection of animals adapted to these harsh farming conditions is essential for the success of an organic farm. However, the current animal breeding strategies adopted by the farmers do not differ between the intensive and the organic animal production systems; i.e., the Holstein-Friesian is the most commonly used breed in the organic and intensive dairy farms, despite the poor production and adaptability of these animals to the organic production systems. Recent studies showed that animals bred to produce high milk yields in the conventional systems are not capable to adapt to pasture-based systems. Cattle breeding strategies based on the selection of the animals for functional traits, or the efficiency of the cows to use scarce resources (inputs), could be a good strategy when selecting animals for organic farms. This chapter analyzes the animal breeding strategies currently performed in the organic farms, and discusses the novel strategies and animal breeds that could potentially benefit different organic dairy farming systems, including multifunctional farms.
  • Publication
    Trace metal exposure in different livestock production systems
    Industrial and agricultural activities are associated with environmental pollution as these practices contribute to increase further the concentration of minerals derived from the parent rock, present naturally in the soil. Heavy metals (i.e., arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury) and excessive levels of essential metals (such as copper and zinc) have negative effects on the health of both animals and humans. The exposure of animals to toxic elements or excessive levels of essential minerals could influence greatly the mineral content of different animal derived products for human consumption (i.e., meat, offal and milk) and may affect significantly human health. The exposure of livestock to different minerals varies depending on the animal husbandry practices adopted by the farmers, such as the use of mineral supplements in animals’ feed and the foraging practices of the farm (i.e., grazing, type of soil and forage contamination). This chapter focuses on the influence of different farming practices on the exposure of livestock to toxic and trace elements, emphasising the differences between the intensive and organic farming systems. The relationship between different farming practices and the mineral content of animal derived products, together with the implications of these farming practices for the consumers and environment are also discussed.
  • Publication
    Developing seaweed/macroalgae as feed for pigs
    Macroalgae are a promising source of nutritional ingredients including proteins, polysaccharides and minerals. The need to increase animal and feed production has increased interest in macroalgae as underutilised resources with promising applications as alternative animal feeds. This chapter summarizes the nutritional attributes of macroalgae in terms of macro and micronutrients as a source of protein and other compounds in pig nutrition. The benefits of macroalgae or macroalgal derived extracts in feed are discussed together with future trends and challenges in the development of effective feed formulations.
  • Publication
    The interlobular distribution of copper in the liver of beef calves on a high-copper diet
    The aims of the present study were 1) to evaluate the interlobular distribution of copper (Cu) in the liver of beef calves on a high-Cu diet, 2) to determine whether this distribution differs between Galician Blonds and Holstein Friesians, and 3) to determine whether in vivo needle biopsy provides an appropriate measure of overall hepatic Cu status. Liver biopsies were performed before slaughter on twenty-nine 10-month-old beef calves fed growing and finishing diets supplemented with 35 mg/kg of Cu sulfate (10 Galician Blonds, 9 Holstein Friesians, and 10 Galician Blond × Holstein Friesian crosses). At slaughter, samples taken from 6 regions of the liver (the internal and external faces of the right lobe; the left, caudate, and quadrate lobes; and the processus papillaris) were acid digested, and their Cu contents were determined by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry. The highest Cu concentrations were found in the left lobe, followed by the processus papillaris, and the lowest Cu concentrations were found in the caudate and quadrate lobes. Different breeds differ in absolute hepatic Cu levels, but interlobular Cu distribution does not appear to depend on breed, at least when Galician Blonds are compared with Holstein Friesians. In vivo needle biopsy afforded accurate estimates of overall hepatic Cu status.
      243Scopus© Citations 12
  • Publication
    Histochemistry evaluation of the oxidative stress and the antioxidant status in Cu-supplemented cattle
    The aim of this paper is to evaluate at a histopathological level the effect of the most commonly used copper (Cu) supplementation (15 mg/kg dry matter (DM)) in the liver of intensively reared beef cattle. This was done by a histochemistry evaluation of (i) the antioxidant capacity in the liver - by the determination of metallothioneins (MT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) expression - as well as (ii) the possible induction of oxidative damage - by the determination of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), nitrotyrosine (NITT), malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-oxoguanine (8-oxo) - that (iii) could increase apoptotic cell death - determined by cytochrome-c (cyto-c), caspase 1 (casp1) and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL). Liver samples from Cu-supplemented (15 mg Cu sulphate/kg DM, n = 5) and non-supplemented calves (n = 5) that form part of other experiments to evaluate Cu status were collected at slaughter and processed for immunohistochemistry and TUNEL. MT expression was diffuse and SOD showed slight changes although without statistical significance. iNOS and NITT positive (+) cells significantly increased, mainly around the central veins in the animals from the Cu-supplemented group, whereas no differences were appreciated for the rest of the oxidative stress and apoptosis markers. Under the conditions of this study, which are the conditions of the cattle raised in intensive systems in NW Spain and also many European countries, routinely Cu supplementation increased the risk of the animals to undergo subclinical Cu toxicity, with no significant changes in the Cu storage capacity and the antioxidant defensive system evaluated by MT and SOD expression, but with a significant and important increase of oxidative damage measured by iNOS and NITT. The results of this study indicated that iNOS and NITT could be used as early markers of initial pathological changes in the liver caused by Cu supplementation in cattle, although more studies in cattle under different levels of Cu supplementation are needed.
      148Scopus© Citations 17
  • Publication
    The involvement of metallothionein in hepatic and renal Cd, Cu and Zn accumulation in pigs
    This study investigated the involvement of metallothionein (MT) in hepatic and renal cadmium (Cd) accumulation and the interactions of this element with the essential elements copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) in pigs receiving diets with or without Cu and Zn supplementation, in intensive and extensive production systems respectively. Animals from intensive systems showed significantly higher Cd concentrations in the liver (83.3 μg/kg wet weight) and kidney (343 μg/kg) than animals from extensive systems (33.2 and 130 μg/kg respectively). Cu (liver 16.9, kidney 5.52. mg/kg) and Zn (82.8 and 29.7. mg/kg) concentrations were also significantly higher in pigs from intensive than in animals from extensive systems (Cu 10.1 and 4.64. mg/kg, Zn 66.2 and 23.1. mg/kg). Pigs from intensive systems showed 50% higher kidney MT concentrations than animals from extensive systems (278 and 183. mg/kg respectively), whereas liver MT concentrations were very similar in the two groups (1696 and 1517. mg/kg respectively). MT concentrations in both the liver and the kidney were strongly dependent on the Zn status of the animal. In the liver neither Cu nor Cd displaced Zn from MT, and the proportion of MT binding sites apparently occupied by Cu and Cd decreased with increasing hepatic MT concentration, despite the fact that both Cu and Cd have higher affinity for MT than Zn. The proportion of MT binding sites occupied by Cu and Cd was also directly related to Zn:Cu ratio in hepatic cells. In the kidney, in contrast, Cu seems able to compete with Zn for MT binding sites, and the proportion of MT binding sites occupied by Cu increased with increasing renal MT concentration. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
      204Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Relationship between the essential and toxic element concentrations and the proximate composition of different commercial and internal cuts of young beef
    This paper seeks to evaluate the relationship between the trace element concentrations and the proximate composition of different cuts of young beef to provide helpful information to consumers in the selection of meat that could fit different nutritional requirements. Ten commercially cuts of young beef (rib boneless entrecote, tenderloin, eye round, thick flank, tail of rump, chuck tender, shin, upper chuck, flank and brisket) together with two internal muscles (diaphragm and cardiac muscle) from ten male Galician blonde calves aged approximately 9 months at slaughter and a carcass weight of 242 ± 2 kg were analyzed. A strong negative association between the main essential trace elements (Co, Cu, Fe, Mn and Se) and the protein concentration of the muscles was found, which could be related to the variable predominance of slow- or fast-twitch fibers in the different muscles. Since trace mineral concentrations in muscle are partly genetically determined and related to palatability traits, understanding the relationships between the trace element concentrations and the proximate composition could be a valuable tool for selective breeding of beef to improve the nutritional value of meat.
      35Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    Evaluation of the need of copper supplementation in intensively reared beef cattle
    The aim of this investigation was to evaluate whether, in the nutritional management of commercial feedlots of NW Spain based mainly on concentrate feed from international raw materials, copper (Cu) supplementation is justified to maintain the physiological requirements. This was done by evaluating blood Cu parameters (serum Cu, whole blood Cu and serum caeruloplasmin), haematological (red blood cells, microhematocrit, haemoglobin, white blood cells, and thrombocytes), productive parameters (initial and final live weight, feed intake, average daily gain, carcass weight and performance and internal organs weight) and organic Cu accumulation at slaughter (liver, kidney, muscle, spleen and brain) in intensive beef cattle that received a standard diet with 15. mg/kg of Cu sulphate (Cu supplemented group, n = 10) and without Cu (non-supplemented group, n = 10) during all the productive cycle (growing and finishing periods and animals aged 12 to 36. weeks). In general Cu supplementation did not statistically affect blood Cu indicators, productive and haematologic parameters, and the levels of these parameters were within their normal ranges during the whole study. There were significant statistic differences in tissue Cu accumulation, mainly in the liver, with 90% of the animals of the Cu supplemented group showing hepatic Cu levels exceeding the adequate range and 50% within the concentrations associated with Cu toxicity. Under the conditions of this study, which are the conditions of the cattle raised under intensive methods in many European countries, routinely Cu supplementation is not justified to maintain an adequate Cu status in the animals or to improve productive parameters. More information about the risk of presence of Cu antagonists in the concentrate diets should be necessary to justify routinely Cu supplementation in intensively reared beef cattle.
      283Scopus© Citations 18