Use of plant-derived antimicrobials for improving the safety of poultry products

Poult Sci. 2013 Feb;92(2):493-501. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02764.


Salmonella Enteritidis and Campylobacter jejuni are the 2 major foodborne pathogens transmitted through poultry products. Chickens are the reservoir hosts of these pathogens, with their intestinal colonization being the most significant factor causing contamination of meat and eggs. Effective preslaughter strategies for reducing the colonization of birds with these pathogens are critical to improve the microbiological safety of poultry products. An antimicrobial treatment that can be applied through feed represents the most practical and economically viable method for adoption on farms. Additionally, a natural and safe antimicrobial will be better accepted by producers without concerns for toxicity. This symposium talk discussed the potential use of plant-derived, GRAS (generally recognized as safe)-status molecules, caprylic acid, trans-cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, carvacrol, and thymol as feed supplements for reducing cecal populations of Salmonella Enteritidis and C. jejuni in chickens. Additionally, the effect of plant molecules on Salmonella virulence genes critical for cecal colonization in chickens was also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Campylobacter Infections / drug therapy
  • Campylobacter Infections / veterinary*
  • Campylobacter jejuni / physiology
  • Chickens*
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis
  • Food Safety*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Poultry Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Salmonella Infections, Animal / drug therapy*
  • Salmonella enteritidis / physiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Extracts