Veterinary World (Nov 2021)

Advances in nanotechnology and the benefits of using cellulose nanofibers in animal nutrition

  • Geovane Rosa de Oliveira,
  • Carla de Andrade,
  • Cristina Santos Sotomaior,
  • Leandro Batista Costa

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 11
pp. 2843 – 2850


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The production of cellulose nanofibers promotes the utilization of plant residues that are generated in agro-industries during food processing. The utilization of these plant by-products reduces environmental contamination. Cellulose nanofibers are used in several sectors, including the drug, food, and animal nutrition industries. Many sources of nanofibers used in animal diets can be used as potential fiber substitutes after being processed to improve efficiency. For instance, including nanometric particles of plant fibers (<100 nm) in animal feed may provide excellent physical properties such as high reactivity, a large surface area, and improved nutrient absorption from the diet. Nanotechnology improves the characteristics of fibers that are important for gastrointestinal transit and their utilization as energy sources and substrates for microbial fermentation in the digestive tract of animals. Nanofibers can improve the synthesis of volatile fatty acids and the blood lipid profile, with positive effects on the intestinal health of animals. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated promising effects in reducing blood glucose levels without toxic effects on the body. Supplying nanofibers in the diet improve animal performance, increase productivity, and work toward a more sustainable economic development of agribusinesses. The quality of animal products such as meat, milk, and eggs is also reported to be improved with the inclusion of nanominerals in the feed. Overall, the application of nanotechnology to harness the by-products of agro-industries can increase economic viability and sustainability in animal production systems. Therefore, this review presents a current survey on the main research and advances in the utilization of nanotechnology, focusing on cellulose nanofibers in animal feed to improve animal performance.