Background: Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a dominant fruit crop in most
Arabian countries. Date pits, as a major byproduct which remained after consumption of date flesh,
proved to be a valuable source of energy.
Objectives: The impact of degraded date pits (DDP) on growth performance, intestinal bacterial
population, and expression profiles of intestinal genes in broilers was determined. Recent patents
have been established on DDP from the European patent office (EP2586318B1), Hong Kong patent
registry office (HK1184642) and by the United States patent and trademark office (US8968729B2
Methods: Solid-state degradation system (SSD) was used for the preparation of DDP using Trichoderma
reesei. One-day-old Brazilian broiler chicks “Cobb 500” were randomly divided into six
treatments with six replicates, which consisted of a normal diet containing only corn-soy (control),
diet containing corn-soy + (20%, 50g/100Kg oxytetracycline), diet containing corn-soy + 10%
(DDP), diet containing corn-soy + 0.2% mannan oligosaccharides (MOS), diet containing corn-soy
+ 0.1% mannose, and diet containing corn-soy + 0.2% mannose.
Results: There were no significant differences in body weight, feed intake, and feed conversion ratio
(FCR) in broilers among the treatments. The bacterial count was significantly decreased in 10%
DDP diet-fed broilers, 0.2% MOS and antibiotic diet-fed broilers. Immunoglobulin levels in serum
and intestinal contents and expression pattern of genes in jejunum were upregulated in 10% DDP
and 0.2% MOS diet-fed broilers.
Conclusion: DDP can be used as an energy source for replacing part of corn, mannan oligosaccharide
and also recommended as a potential alternative to antimicrobials in broilers diet.