Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology & Feeding

Research Topics

The research activity of the Laboratory is focused on:

  • The systematic investigation of nutritional physiology of farm animals, such as ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats), monogastric herbivores (ungulates, rabbits), monogastric omnivores (pigs, poultry) and others, in combination with the development of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology

  • The study of the properties, chemistry and technology of various feedstuffs

  • The detailed study of the effects of nutrients on metabolism and various physiological functions of the animal body, so as to protect animal health and optimize their performance

  • Improving product quality through supplementing diets with bioactive compounds (omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid-CLA, antioxidants, etc.) that promote human health

  • Reducing the environmental pollution caused by animal farming (organic farming, grassland management, reduced methane emissions and excretion of minerals, such as N, P, etc.)

  • The study of the interactions between genes and nutrients

  • Promotion, dissemination and application of scientific knowledge to optimize the effectiveness of nutrition in practice (through counselling and education of people, involved directly or indirectly to animal nutrition)

  • Understanding gut function and health interactions with animal performance

To achieve the above, the Laboratory attends closely the ongoing international developments in science and technology on Animal Nutrition. In order to ensure the quality of the research, the Department constantly updates all kinds of teaching and research material and equipment (books, journals, magazines, computers, software, analytical techniques, analytical devices, scientific instruments, etc.).

Finally, the Laboratory is working closely with public and private institutions (Ministry of Rural Development and Food, Research Institutions, prefectural and local administration, industries, businesses, corporations, private producers, etc.), so as to address and solve various theoretical and practical problems, thus maintaining an essentially creative and fruitful relationship between University and productive society.

Research Projects

The Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology & Feeding of the Department of Animal Science of the Agricultural University of Athens participates in the project entitled “YOgurt of Greece produced with a novel Algae Ration Technology” and Project Code T2EDK-02990/MIS 5069986. This research has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH—CREATE—INNOVATE.

The Laboratory of Nutritional Physiology & Feeding of the Department of Animal Science of the Agricultural University of Athens participates in the project entitled “Development and comparison of methods for the detection and quantification of phytoestrogens in fish feed raw materials, fish feed and farmed Mediterranean species of fish – EstroFish” and Project Code T6YBP-00536/MIS 5052097 which is part of the Special Actions “AQUACULTURE” – “INDUSTRIAL MATERIALS” – “OPEN INNOVATION IN CULTURE” and is carried out with the co-financing of Greece and the European Union, within the framework of the Operational Program EPANEK 2014-2020, NSRF 2014-2020.

European research projects:

  • Development of a Competitive Exclusion Product for Poultry Meeting the Regulatory Requirements in the European Union, duration 24 months (2/2003-2/2004)

  • LIFE 2006. Development of a financial viable procedure LIFE 03 ENV/GR/000223 (02/05/06 – 31/09/06). Funding source: European Union

  • EU Research Programme FP6 007081 (2009-2010) entitled “Pathogen Combat for Safe Food”

  • Studies on the regulation of the Phex gene (2005-2010) Funding source: Swiss National Science Foundation (Member of the main research team).

  • Production of functional foods: effect of antioxidant’s dietary supplementation on the quality of the produced meat”. Programme “Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Exploitation of Research at the Agricultural University of Athens (2014-2015), co-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) and the Greek State, grant number: 770001

  • LIFE 2016. Food for Feed: An Innovative process for transforming hotels food wastes into animal feed. (LIFE15ENU/GR/000257)

  • LIFE 2016. Forage systems for less green house gas emission and more soil carbon sink in continental and Mediterranean agricultural areas. (LIFE15CCM/IT/000039).

  • EU2018. Upgrading and implementing mathematical models to increase nitrogen use efficiency of lactating dairy cows. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), H2020-MSCA-RISE-2017, Project 777974-CowficieNcy

  • Horizon 2020. Disseminating Innovative Solutions for Antibiotic Resistance Management. Project817591-DISARM

  • CONOPS (LIFE12ENV/GR/000466): Development & demonstration of management plans against -the climate change enhanced- invasive mosquitoes in S. Europe,

  • CLIMATREE (LIFE14CCM/GR/000635): A novel approach for accounting & monitoring carbon sequestration of tree crops and their potential as carbon sink areas,

  • Next destination Balkans: Αgricultural landscapes development (LANDS), funded by European Commission- EACEA-Erasmus+

  • Evaluation of the EU exceptional measures in the poultry and egg sector, 8 months duration (3/2011 – 10/2011), overseas funding

  • UPDATEST: Training students and professionals in the food sector on new testing technologies (2018). Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (Participating Member)

National research projects:

  • Use of some plants extracts in dairy ruminant diets for functional products (10/01/05 – 09/07/05). Funding source: Secretary of Research and Development

  • Evaluation of Ikaria Island grassland grazed by small ruminants (16/01/06 – 30/04/06). Funding source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food

  • Determination of grazing capacity of Rhodes Island grasslands (01/02/07 – 30/01/08). Funding source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food

  • Effect of nutrition on chemical and organoleptic characteristics of sheep and goat milk of organic farming systems (01/02/08 – 31/03/08). Funding source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food

  • Determination of additional cost, lost income and farmers cost from agroenviromental measures application (01/02/08 – 30/09/08). Funding source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food

  • The use of special diets for Octupus vulgaris under practical aquaqualture conditions (02/06/08 – 01/09/08). Funding source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food

  • Sheep and goat sector in Crete- current conditions and perspectives. Funding: Ministry of Rural Development and Food (2008)

  • Evaluation and proposed methods to improve the sheep productivity in Crete (01/12/2008 – 31/01/2009). Funding source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food

  • Reorganization of agricultural activities in Falesia Prefecture (03/03/09- 31/12/10). Funding source: Falesia Prefecture

  • Nutritive evaluation of crude glycerol in growing piglets, funded by the AUA – Research Committee, duration 24 months (2010-2011)

  • Improvement of the infrastructure of Agriculture in Armenia: Establishment a feed mill (01/05/2010 – 15/06/2010). Funding source: Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Management of wild rabbit population in the island of Lemnos: the investigation of using rabbit game meat in human nutrition (2014-2015). Funding source: Ministry of Rural Development and Food

  • Evaluation of cultivating and processing techniques in different alfalfa hay (Medicago sativa) genetic materials for high quality livestock products (2015). Funding source: NSRF 2007-2013

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the AUA: Connecting scientific research with business ideas (2014-2015). Subproject title: Device for digestion and vacuum filtration in gravimetric analyses. Funding source: Municipality of Athens, NSRF 2007-2013.

  • Effect of artificial and natural rearing on qualitative characteristics of lamb meat “AgroETAK: Research and Technology Development Innovation projects” (01/02/15 – 30/11/15). Funding source: Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment and Energy (YPAPEN)

  • Mapping the profile of molecular biomarkers relevant for the intestinal antioxidant status and integrity in an intestinal dysbiosis experimental model induced in broilers via nutrition and mycotoxins. Action code MIS 5048543 and duration 15 months (end date 16/12/2021) funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework 2014-2020

  • Innovative nano-materials in animal nutrition: evaluation of the effects of selenium nanoparticles‑loaded chitosan microspheres on meat quality. Action code MIS 5048474and duration 15 months (end date 19/06/2021) funded by the National Strategic Reference Framework 2014-2020

  • New agriculture for a new generation: recharging youth to revitalize the agriculture and food sector of the Greek economy (coordination by the Lab of Nutritional Physiology and Feeding. Activity: Livestock Farming and Dairy Technology. Funding: Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

  • Acid whey from yogurt: Turning an environmental burden into innovative added value end products, conducted under the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship & Innovation” (EPAnEK). Funded by GSRT

Industry projects

  • The effect of Sparta INNOLIVE (a by- product from olive oil production) inclusion on broilers diets on some biochemical and performances parameters (01/04/15 – 31/12/15)

  • Safety and tolerance of attapulgite in broilers, 11 months duration (9/2008 – 7/2009), funded by industry

  • Evaluation of mycotoxin binders for poultry, 23 months duration (2/2012 – 12/2013), funded by industry

  • Efficacy of LANCER© 500 (Rare Earth Elements) in pig feeding. Funding source: University of Munich (2009)

  • Efficacy of dietary 25-hydroxy-cholecalciferol (25-OH-D3) in growing pigs. Funding source: Industry (2006)

  • Microbiological analysis of feed, water and gut samples from broiler chickens fed a new nutritional competitive exclusion product, funded by industry and duration 12 months (7/2005-7/2006).

  • Effects of essential oils and benzoic acid administration in broiler performance and gut microflora composition”, funded by industry duration 9 months (8/2007 – 4/2008)

  • Optimisation of feed inclusion levels of probiotic and phytogenic feed additive products in broiler nutrition and investigation of their effects on broiler intestinal ecology and physiology, funded by industry and duration 36 months (4/2007-3/2010).

  • Investigation of critical biomarkers underpinning the mechanisms behind the beneficial effects of probiotic and phytogenic feed additives on broiler performance and gut health, funded by industry and duration 48 months (9/2011-8/2015)

  • Investigation of the efficacy of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in broilers under pathogenic challenge, funded by industry and duration 24 months (10/2012-10/2014)

  • Mg bioavailability of four MgO products in sheep, 9 months duration (6/2014 – 2/2015), funded by industry

  • Matrix value validations for selected feed enzymes in broilers, funded by industry and duration 16 months (9/2015-12/2016)

  • Evaluation of an alternative protein source in broilers nutrition, 8 months duration (10/2016 – 6/2017), funded by idustry

  • Mapping and validating energy and protein matrix values of phytogenics and probiotics for optimum performance efficiency in broilers, funded by industry and duration 31 months (12/2015-8/2018)

  • Evaluation of dietary phytogenic inclusion level on broiler growth performance and nutrient digestibility, funded by industry and duration 20 months (5/2016-4/2017)

  • Profiling broiler gut for critical indices relevant to gut function and health, funded by industry and duration 12 months (4/2017-4/2018)

  • Scientific support in research, development and application of feed additives in animal nutrition, funded by industry and duration 14 months (11/2017-12/2018)

  • Scientific support and evaluation of animal nutrition applications, funded by industry and duration 8 months (4/2019-12/2019)

  • Advancing knowledge regarding the energy and protein sparing potential of phytogenics and probiotics at gut and overall broiler level, funded by industry and duration 36 months (9/2019-9/2022)

  • Evaluation of feed – flavouring compounds formulations for their effects on broiler performance, gut and liver function biomarkers, funded by industry and duration 18 months (1/2020-6/2021)

  • Evaluation of vitamin D3 levels and its metabolites on performance, egg quality and physiological biomarkers in older laying hens, funded by industry and duration 18 months (1/2020-6/2021)

  • Evaluation of phytogenic premix inclusion level on hen laying performance, egg quality and critical gut, liver and ovaries function biomarkers, funded by industry and duration 18 months (7/2020-12/2021)

  • Bioavailability of Cr and Ni in pigs fed diets supplemented with palygorskite, funded by industry and duration 10 months (06/2020-04/2021)

Participation in Organizations

The laboratory staff participates in National and International Organizations such as:

  • European Federation of Animal Science

  • Hellenic Society for Animal Science

  • Hellenic Poultry Association

  • Geotechnical Chamber of Greece

  • World Rabbit Science Association, Greek Branch

  • World Poultry Science Association, Greek Branch

  • Poultry Science Association (USA)

  • International Carotenoid Society

  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)



Laboratory of Nutritional
Physiology & Feeding


75 Iera Odos Street, Votanikos, Athens
PO Box: 118 55

TEL:               +30 210 529 4412
FAX:               +30 210 529 4413
Mon – Fri | 09:00 – 15:00