Reduction of environmental risks and improving livestock productivity in Mixed Crop-Livestock Systems with cheap byproducts of berry fruits

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2014: $14,983.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Grant Recipient: University of Maryland-College Park
Region: Northeast
State: Maryland
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Debabrata Biswas
University of Maryland

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: berries (other)
  • Animals: poultry


  • Animal Production: feed additives, herbal medicines
  • Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    Environmental and health risks associated with the products from Mixed Crop-Livestock Farming (MCLF) systems due to cross contamination with zoonotic bacterial pathogens are major safety concerns. Current intervention strategies such as, administration of antibiotics for livestock production are of limited use due to the emergence of resistant pathogens and/or presence of antibiotic residues in foods. Further, organic MCLFs are not allowed to use antibiotics or chemicals. As a result, alternative approaches are critical to address the current issue. Natural bioactive compounds from plant origin can play crucial role in such a situation. Berry fruits are well documented as sources of natural antimicrobials which primarily consist of polyphenols and their bioactive derivatives. These antimicrobial components are present in berry byproduct called “pomace”, which are primarily seeds and skins of fruits after juice is squeezed out. These components show promising antimicrobial activity against various human as well as animal pathogens. In this project, we approach to use bioactive extracts from berry pomaces as an alternative intervention to reduce pathogenic bacterial colonization in farm animal gut. These bioactive extracts will also replace chemical growth promoters in livestock farming system, improve animal health and increase productivity. Microbiological quality of the compost is also expected to improve resulting in reduced prevalence of cross contamination of crops with zoonotic bacterial pathogens. We believe, this proposed intervention will mitigate pathogen associated risks in the farm environment and its products and, therefore, increase profitability especially in the MCLFs.

    Project objectives from proposal:


      1. Assess the effects of berry pomace extracts on the colonization of Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella Typhimurium in poultry gut;


      1. Evaluate the effects of bioactive components of berry pomace extracts on the poultry productivity, feed conversion efficiency and overall health;


      1. Compare the microbiological quality of the composts produced from the manure of birds grown in presence or absence of berry pomace extracts.


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.