Dr. Slominski is a Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba. Slominski began his studies in Poland, completing an M.Sc. in microbiology and a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland before coming to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1994. Slominski still collaborates with his former colleagues from Poland and makes use of their state of the art poultry facilities for some of his research projects.
Slominski has worked with the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC) since its inception and has further contributed to the Council by serving on the scientific advisory committee.
Slominski has been involved in extensive studies on natural alternatives to antibiotics. His publication record for the last five years includes 29 refereed articles, 8 conference proceedings (invited presentations), 42 scientific abstracts, 1 book chapter and 4 popular industry articles.
Fostering expertise in the industry
Throughout his career, Slominski has supervised 19 M.sc. and Ph.D. students, 5 post-doctoral fellows, 10 summer students, 4 visiting scientists and 6 research associates/technicians. Many of these students are now continuing to contribute to the poultry industry, including an Extension Specialist with Manitoba Egg Farmers, a Technical Service Manager with Phibro Animal Health, and an Assistant Professor in poultry nutrition at the University of Guelph.
Highlights of research outcomes
Three of Dr. Slominski’s research projects have been funded by CPRC, all of which have focussed on avian gut microbiology or antibiotic alternatives.
Slominski’s first project through CPRC is a topic he has been working on for the last 20 years. His team looked at a new generation of multi-carbohydrase enzymes to determine if they could break down the indigestible portions of poultry diets so that they are 1) easier to digest, 2) may promote the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut, and 3) may help protect poultry from Clostridium perfringens. His work showed that the enzyme was able to break down the indigestible components of some feed ingredients to release their components into the gut and influence the profile of the microflora in the chicken gut. The enzymes therefore promote the proliferation of beneficial bacteria and eliminate potential pathogens such as C. perfringens (the causative agent of necrotic enteritis).
Slominski further worked with Nutreco and Canadian Bio-Systems to bring this product to the marketplace for use in the poultry industry. The multi-carbohydrase enzymes Superzyme CS™ and Superzyme OM™ are registered products of Canadian Bio-Systems Inc. and can be purchased from them.
Slominski has been working for the last 8-10 years to now combine the multi-carbohydrase enzymes with yeast products to release bioactives to further facilitate gut health and food safety.
As part of the second Poultry Cluster, Slominski’s team have been investigating the potential of a novel enzyme/yeast-based prebiotic as an effective and inexpensive alternative to antibiotics. Yeast products are a rich source of mannan polysaccarides and nucleotides, which can function as prebiotics, and have been shown to stimulate the immune system and gastrointestinal tract development. They also have been shown to promote beneficial bacteria and decrease colonization of pathogenic bacteria.
An important finding so far was that yeast feed additives do not stimulate the innate immune system of broiler chickens under non-challenged conditions. This could be beneficial for the birds because immune system activation in the absence of a microbial challenge comes at a cost in terms of productivity and growth performance. Slominski’s research has also shown that the enzyme/yeast product containing enzymatically released yeast bioactives can reduce Salmonella Enteritidis shedding in layers and broilers. In broiler chickens with necrotic enteritis the enzyme/yeast prebiotic had similar beneficial effects on feed conversion and nutrient utilization as antibiotics. This enzyme/yeast-based supplementation may be a natural alternative to antibiotics.
Towards the end of the Cluster project, Slominski will be running further technology validation studies of the enzyme/yeast product, as well as the multi-carbohydrase product. Slominski will also continue working to identify the specific bioactive components in yeast to further improve the product’s efficacy.