The Potential of Postbiotics: A Promising Solution for Sustainable Poultry Production

Tanmay Mondal1 andMokshata Gupta2

1Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Veterinary Science, Rampura Phul, GADVASU, Punjab-151103

2Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Nutrition, DUVASU, College of Veterinary Science, Mathura, U.P-281001

2Corresponding author:

The discovery of antibiotics revolutionized healthcare and agriculture, but their excessive use has resulted in antibiotic resistance, a significant threat to human and animal health. Postbiotics, which are non-viable microbial products with various benefits, present a safer alternative to antibiotics. Unlike probiotics, postbiotics are stable and do not contain live microorganisms, making them well-suited for improving poultry health and performance. By utilizing postbiotics, we can responsibly meet the increasing global protein demands while also addressing regulatory concerns. As research on postbiotics advances, they are emerging as a promising solution for promoting animal well-being in a continuously expanding world.

Concepts of Postbiotics

Postbiotics, derived from the Greek words “post” and “bios,” refer to products that emerge after microbial activity. Unlike live probiotics, postbiotics are non-living fragments that may offer health benefits. They are closely linked to bacterial and probiotic metabolism, often appearing as soluble metabolites. The International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) recently defined postbiotics as preparations made from inert microorganisms or their components that provide health benefits to the host. The effective postbiotics include different Lactobacilli species and various soluble factors such as enzymes, peptides, and organic acids. As a cutting-edge field in microbial science, postbiotics offer new avenues to improve host well-being through non-living microbial derivatives.

Beneficial Response of Postbiotics

Postbiotics, similar to probiotics, have immunomodulatory effects that enhance both innate and adaptive immune responses. They strengthen the intestinal barrier, inhibit pathogenic growth, and promote the production of beneficial compounds, ultimately benefiting gut health and immune response. The postbiotics, especially those derived from inactivated probiotics such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation-based postbiotic, show promising advantages in poultry, including better disease resistance, growth, and intestinal health. Postbiotics offer a comprehensive approach to enhance gut health by inhibiting pathogens, promoting antimicrobial activity through bacteriocins, and acting as growth promoters. Their other benefits include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, hypocholesterolemic, and hepatoprotective effects. Common producers such as L. plantarum, L. casei, L. rhamnosus, L. brevis, and L. acidophilus have demonstrated efficacy in various animal models, showcasing their potential in disease mitigation and health promotion.

Promising Advantages in the Poultry Industry

In poultry farming, postbiotics offer numerous advantages by enhancing performance and health in various poultry species. They are effective in improving growth, egg quality, and feed efficiency in broilers and layers, even under challenging conditions like heat stress. Postbiotics that contain L. plantarum exhibit antioxidative activities, reduce cholesterol levels in layers, and improve intestinal morphology in broiler chickens. Additionally, they boost immune response and reduce inflammation in challenged chickens, resulting in significant weight gain and reduced lesion scores in broilers. They also enhance pre-harvest food safety by reducing pathogens like Salmonella Enteritidis in commercial layers. By combining postbiotics with pro-and pre-biotics, enzyme activity, nitrogen utilization, and overall feed efficiency can be improved while mitigating environmental concerns such as ammonia emissions in poultry production. The adoption of postbiotics in poultry farming facilitates antibiotic-free production, resulting in high-quality and safe chicken products. Also, its supplementation enhances the quality of meat and eggs by reducing plasma cholesterol concentration, improving meat quality attributes, and increasing egg output in layers. As the global demand for meat and eggs continues to rise, ensuring their quality becomes increasingly important, underscoring the significant role of postbiotics in poultry farming to guarantee the production of safe and healthy products.


Postbiotics are a promising tool for poultry producers to fulfil their consumer expectations and ensuring global food security sustainably. Their dual action of promoting gut health and optimizing digestive health can effectively support growth, performance, animal welfare, and food safety aspects in antibiotic free poultry production.

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