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Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Review

Year: 2016

Author(s): Faehnrich, B; Lukas, B; Humer, E; Zebeli, Q

Title: Phytogenic pigments in animal nutrition: potentials and risks.

Source: J Sci Food Agric. 2016; 96(5):1420-1430

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Fähnrich Bettina
Humer Elke
Lukas Brigitte
Zebeli Qendrim

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Phytogenic pigments are secondary plant compounds responsible for coloring effects in plant tissues. In particular, phenolic flavonoids and terpenoid carotenoids, but also rare compounds like curcumin and betalain, form this group of biochemical agents used in animal nutrition. From the perspective of ecological mutuality between plants and animals, these compounds are of crucial importance because they serve as visual attraction for herbivores but also signal nutritional and/or health-promoting values. This review focuses on the properties of phytogenic pigments which are likely to impact feed intake and preferences of livestock. Also natural prophylactic and/or therapeutic properties and, in particular, the potential of pigments to enhance quality and health value of animal products for human consumption are important issues. Nevertheless, reasonable limits of use due to possible adverse indications have been suggested recently. Pathways of digestion, metabolism and excretion in animals play a crucial role not only in the evaluation of effectiveness but also in the prediction of potential risks for human consumption. The popularity of natural feed additives is growing; therefore, more research work is needed to better understand metabolic pathways in the animal"s body and to better estimate the potentials and risks of pigmenting plant compounds used in animal nutrition. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

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