student profile: Mr Tom Tarento


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Vitamin K for the improvement of intensive meat and livestock production systems

Supervisors: Fariba DEHGHANI , John KAVANAGH

Thesis abstract:

Humans are placing ever greater stress on the planet’s capacity to produce food. Demand for affordable animal protein is becoming unsustainable. Intensive farming of livestock, such as domestic fowl (chicken), is necessary to meet global demand for animal protein. Supplementation of stock feed with an optimized balance of micronutrients and antibiotics is essential for maintaining high stocking density and feed conversion. The benefits of many supplements, such as the fat-soluble vitamins A, D3, E and K, are interdependent. For example, vitamin K works synergistically with vitamin D3 but can be suppressed by vitamin A and E supplementation. Artificial vitamin K analogs are added to chicken feed in order to boost vitamin K activity. Vitamin K is also involved in control of innate immunity and inflammation though these effects are likely dependent upon molecular structure. We therefore aim to investigate the immunomodulatory effects of different K vitamers, as well as alternative sources, to develop an efficacious and cost-effective vitamin K supplement. The ideal vitamin K supplement would reduce the use of antibiotics and improve yields in intensive meat and livestock industries. A significant improvement in animal welfare and production efficiency would help to secure a sustainable food source for the future.

Selected publications

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Conferences

  • Tarento, T., Talbot, A., Regtop, H., Biffin, R., Kavanagh, J., Dehghani, F., Valtchev, P. (2016). Comparison of K vitamers and a vitamin K analog for potential anti-inflammatory therapies. European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Sciences (ESBES) 2016, Dublin.

2016

  • Tarento, T., Talbot, A., Regtop, H., Biffin, R., Kavanagh, J., Dehghani, F., Valtchev, P. (2016). Comparison of K vitamers and a vitamin K analog for potential anti-inflammatory therapies. European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Sciences (ESBES) 2016, Dublin.

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