PODCAST: Egg coating focuses on chick gut health from the start

Microbiologist Gina Sloan of AGRITX, talks about her company’s probiotic egg coating product, which she will present at Poultry Tech Summit.

Bjarte Kvinge Tvedt | freeimages.com

Microbiologist Gina Sloan of AGRITX, talks about her company’s probiotic egg coating product, which she will present at Poultry Tech Summit, October 30-November 1 in Atlanta, Georgia.

PODCAST: Egg coating focuses on chick gut health from the start (4:55)

Ann Reus: Hello and welcome to the Feed Strategy podcast. I’m your host, Feed Strategy Senior Reporter Ann Reus.

Gina Sloan is a microbiologist with more than 15 years of research experience spanning vaccine development to consumer-focused disinfectants. Her most recent work is focused on reducing pathogen carriage by improving performance of GI tract microbes. Her company, AGRITX, is focused on developing agricultural therapies that drive a benefit to the producer and consumer.

I spoke with Sloan about the presentation she’ll give at Poultry Tech Summit, which will be held October 30-November 1 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Poultry Tech Summit is an exclusive international gathering that brings together industry-changing innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, technology experts, investors and leading poultry producers. Poultry Tech Summit focuses on the transition of innovative technologies into commercial applications to advance the poultry industry.

Here’s our conversation.

Hi Gina, thanks for being here.

Gina Sloan: Thanks, Ann, for having me. I really appreciate it.

Reus: Tell me about your company, AGRITX, and what you do there.

Sloan: So AGRITX is focused on developing microbiome-based strategies that solve real problems in unique ways. And our ultimate goal is to make affordable solutions that provide a benefit to the farmer.

Reus: What will your talk at Poultry Tech Summit be about?

Sloan: So, our Poultry Tech Summit talk is really focused on our first-to-market technology. And that encompasses a nutritive egg coating that is capable of modulating the GI tract during embryonic development.

Reus: Have you seen improvements in hatachability and chick health with this method?

Sloan: So, we’ve actually really focused on chick health and GI tract first. And with that, what we’ve seen is an ability to improve the GI tract morphology, and the number of villi that are there. And hopefully, that’s going to translate as we go into more trials into an improvement in immune response and pathogen out competition capabilities.

Reus: Can you tell me about the research that went into this project and how the product actually works?

Sloan: When we started out, there were a couple of new research papers out, indicating that the egg shell and the egg shell microbiome are actually critical factors in developing a healthy GI tract of that hatched chick. If we look from where conventional hatching techniques start, we really try to keep that egg shell as clean as possible, which is great and wonderful for preventing pathogens. But in doing so, we create an empty vessel of a chick that hatches, that’s just kind of there and waiting for anything that’s in the environment to come in and colonize the GI tract. What we’re looking to do and where we differentiate is providing that up-front kind of Day 0, upon arrival at the hatchery ability to modulate the microbiome and co-evolve with the developing embryo so that you have a healthy GI tract, not only upon hatch, but even at Day 18 of incubation when you would typically do in an in ovo vaccination regimen. So the R&D that went into it upfront was actually started with selecting the microbiome-based strains that can survive on the egg shell for the total duration of incubation. Not only can they survive, but they can traverse the egg shell membrane and enter into the yolk sac. And that’s where they are the happiest, is in that yolk sac so that you have yolk adapted, microbiome-based strains that can really influence GI tract development. From that Day 0 to Day 18 incubation.

Reus: Have you attended Poultry Tech Summit before, and what do you hope to get out of it this year?

Sloan: So we haven’t attended before. It’s actually very exciting for us to attend our first time and be able to present at the same time. With those two pieces together, we’re super excited to be able to introduce our first technology, this nutritional egg coating, and be able to garner input from industry, potential partners as well. So that’s really what we’re looking forward to, and we’re really excited about being able to attend and present this year.

Reus: Well I hope you have a great summit, and thank you for joining me on the podcast.

Sloan: Thank you so much, Ann. I appreciate it.

Reus: Registration for Poultry Tech Summit is now open with early savings available. For more information, go to wattglobalmedia.com/poultrytechsummit.

Thanks for listening. I’m Ann Reus for Feed Strategy.

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