Upcoming EU ban fuels interest in probiotic feed market

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bacteria, Microbiology

With the upcoming EU ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters
in animal feed, companies such as Medipharm and Chr. Hansen are
rushing to provide farmers with natural alternatives.

Chr. Hansen, based in Denmark, announced yesterday (18 May 2005) it has become the first company to receive EU approval for the use of its BioPlus 2B probiotic as a feed additive for turkeys within the bloc.

The EU approved BioPlus 2B for use in pig feed last year. The additive contains naturally occurring probiotic bacteria and is intended to help increase weight gain. It was the first microbial feed additive to obtain approval by the EU for any animal feed, Chr. Hansen says.

Tests indicate pig mortality is reduced to about seven per cent from the average 12 per cent when sows are fed rations with BioPlus 2B, the company says.

Probiotics are live microbial feed supplements meant to beneficially affect the host animal by preventing other micro-organisms from infecting animals. Reacting to safety concerns the EU has banned the use of all antibiotic growth promoters from 1 January 2006.

The ban has fuelled an increased demand for natural pro-nutrients within the bloc. EU feed additives regulation No 1831/2003​ phases out the use antibiotics, other than coccidiostats and histomonostats, from 1 January 2006. Coccidiostats and histomonostats will be banned as feed additives by 2009.

Antibiotics are substances produced by, or derived from, a micro-organism, which destroy or inhibit the growth of other micro-organisms. Coccidiostats and histomonostats refer to feed additives intended to kill or inhibit protozoa.

Last month the European Food Safety Authority panel on additives and products or substances used in animal feed (FEEDAP) also approved the use of Lactiferm and Fecinor, which are also probiotics, as a feed additives for chickens. Fecinor has also been provisionally authorised for piglet and calf feed.

Last year FEEDAP also approved probiotics Biomin BBSH 797 for pigs and chickens, Biosprint for dairy cows, Turval BO399 for pigs, Yea Sac for leisure horses and Toyocerin for pigs, MLB (L. acidophilus) for cats, Oralin (E. faecium) for dogs, Cyclatin (E. faecium) for dogs and cats and Provita E for chickens.

Other probiotics currently under consideration by the panel include Reuteri for chickens.

The list of feed additives under consideration by the panel and those that have been approved can be found at by clicking here.

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