The impact of supplemental dietary methionine sources on volatile compound concentrations in broiler excreta. Academic Article uri icon


  • The impact of different Met sources on broiler fecal odor volatiles was determined by evaluating the types of sulfur compounds produced in broiler excreta. Two experiments were conducted using straight-run broiler chicks randomly distributed in battery cages, with 3 replicate pens of 16 birds each. The treatment groups were 1) dry Met hydroxy analogue (dry MetHA), 2) sodium methioninate aqueous solution (NaMet), 3) liquid Met hydroxy analogue (Liq MetHA), 4) D,L- Met, and 5) no supplemental Met (control group). The Met activities of each Met source were 52, 45.9, 88, and 98%, respectively. All diets were formulated to contain either 0.8% (experiment 1) total Met activity or 0.5% Met activity in the starter and 0.38% Met activity in the grower (experiment 2) (except the control group, 0.35% Met activity), but otherwise met NRC nutrient requirements (NRC, 1994). Diets were fed ad libitum from d 1 to 6 wk of age. There were no significant differences in BW among the treatments. All excreta were collected in litter pans lined with aluminum foil. In experiment 1, at wk 6, broiler excreta were collected for a 24-h period, and 4.5 g of broiler excreta from each treatment group was collected into 15-mL headspace vials. Samples were analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The volatile sulfur compounds that were identified and quantified in the broiler excreta were H2S, carbonyl sulfide (COS), methyl mercaptan (CH3SH), dimethyl disulfide (CH3SSCH3), and dimethyl trisulfide (CH3SSSCH3). The NaMet treatment group had significantly higher concentrations of H2S, COS, and CH3SSCH3 compared with all other treatment groups. The Liq MetHA group had significantly lower concentrations of H2S, COS, CH3SH, and CH3SSCH3 compared with the other treatment groups. The dry MetHA group significantly had the highest concentration of CH4SH. The D,L-Met treatment group had the significantly highest concentration of CH3SSSCH3 and the lowest concentration of H2S. The control group had the significantly lowest concentrations of CH3SH, CH3SSCH3, and CH3SSSCH3 compared with the other treatment groups. In experiment 2, at wk 6, an electronic nose was used to evaluate 15 air samples per treatment group. In addition, 15 air samples (containing 6 to 8 L of air in a Tedlar bag, 3 samples per treatment group) were collected for odor evaluation by a sensory panel. Electronic nose sensor data revealed that volatile compounds in broiler excreta from the control group were significantly different from the other 4 treatment groups. Evaluation of the air samples by a sensory panel determined that there was a statistically significant difference in odor threshold detection between the control group and the other treatment groups. The dilutions to threshold of control group, NaMet, dry MetHA, Liq MetHA, and D,L-Met were 350, 492, 568, 496, and 526 odor units, respectively. These findings demonstrate that dietary Met sources significantly influenced odorous volatile concentrations in broiler excreta.

published proceedings

  • Poult Sci

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Chavez, C., Coufal, C. D., Carey, J. B., Lacey, R. E., Beier, R. C., & Zahn, J. A.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Chavez, C||Coufal, CD||Carey, JB||Lacey, RE||Beier, RC||Zahn, JA

publication date

  • June 2004