Importance of Anise (Pimpinella anisum) in poultry nutrition
Poultry industry is one of the most dynamic branches of world agribusiness trade.
Since the ban of antibiotics as growth promoters, the possibility of using new natural alternative additives instead of antibiotics in poultry rations was being researched. One of the alternatives is represented by medicinal plants. Plant extracts were used for a long time in traditional medicine contain many active components, particularly essential oils, which have a wide range of pharmacological activities. The essential oils of these medicinal plants have different properties, such as inhibitor effect against pathogenic agents (bacteria, fungi, and parasites), physiological effects (anti-inflammatory effects, antidiarretic properties), and effects on different systems (endocrine and immune system)
Pimpinella anisum (anise) seeds or their extracts are used in animal feed. This annual flowering plant in the family Apiaceae is indigenous to India and Middle East. In Egypt in Biblical times, aniseed was used as a tithe. It was cultivated by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It is a popular flavouring agent for alcoholic drinks such as Pernod, anisette, ouzo and arak. In addition, it has been used to promote lactation in nursing mothers and as a medicine against bronchitis and indigestion.
In addition to eugenol, methylchavicol, anisaldehyde and estragole; Pimpinella anisum contains Anethole which has a potent antimicrobial properties against bacteria, yeast, and fungi. The addition of Anise extracts in broilers ration improves significantly live body weight, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio in broilers. This improvement is due to the appetizing effect the active ingredient (eugenol and anethole) which’s have a digestive stimulating effects. Other studies made to determine the influence of Aniseed extracts in the performance of laying quails showed that Antibody levels were increased by aniseed positively and enhanced humoral immune response to Newcastle virus which leads to the conclusion that Pimpinella anisum extracts activate digestion, strengthen the immune system and have antibacterial properties.