At EcoPlanet Laboratories we love the chance to get involved with partners or institutions that are experts in their subject matter. That's how we felt when we teamed up with the University of Georgia's poultry department to take our previous analysis of the nutritional benefits of bamboo leaves a step further.
Can something that's been heated to 800 degrees centigrade really be antibacterial or reduce the occurrence of dangerous bacteria such as salmonella in farm raised animals? There's plenty of false information floating around on the internet with regards to bamboo and the benefits of the plant, and so when it comes to a product that EcoPlanet Bamboo has decided to target, we want to make sure that we do scientifically rigorous R&D to back up our claims or indicate that maybe it's better to focus on something else - with bamboo the options are endless!
We provided the University of Georgia's Department of Poultry Science with various samples of high grade bamboo charcoal and bamboo activated carbon from the Guadua aculeata under production on EcoPlanet's Nicaragua bamboo plantations. A number of different controlled experiments were carried out utilizing two different concentrations of bamboo charcoal as an additive to the feed of chicks at different ages, as well as various sets of controls without any such bamboo charcoal additive. The key aspects under investigation focused on whether a dietary supplement of bamboo charcoal throughout a 42 day broiler production cycle could leave to an improved bird performance, in particular:
(1) Increase in bird weights, and associated nutrient absorption from feed;
(2) Reduction in expected mortality rates of young chicks;
(3) Occurrence and proliferation of salmonella.
It turns out that while the bamboo charcoal appears to have a positive effect on a reduction of salmonella in the guts of the young chicks, there was no tangible benefit in the supplement in terms of increased weight gain during the early stage of growth.
A peer reviewed publication on this work can be accessed here.
The University of Georgia scientists however recommended that further studies should be undertaken and that even with minor gains, the cost - benefit of bamboo charcoal and the small volumes required within daily feeds, would likely result in a high quality bamboo charcoal being an attractive supplement for the commercial production of poultry.