Citing the results of three trials in lactating cows, EFSA said the company’s microbial additive, MycoCell, which is a live preparation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast culture, has the potential to improve milk production.
The additive has a long history of use in the US dairy industry but this is the first time it has been authorized for the EU market.
“We are very excited about this approval. We invested considerable time and effort in order to reach this regulatory milestone,” said Mark Cox, sales manager at Micron Bio-Systems.
Lack of efficacy data in previous application
In 2009, EFSA’s Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) issued an opinion on the safety and efficacy of MycoCell for dairy cows, but could not conclude on the efficacy of the product.
The company subsequently provided a new application, including additional data on the identity of the active agent and characterization of the product and its efficacy.
“While it can be said the EU yeast additive market is relatively mature, we believe dairy producers are ready for a new and innovative product, and our yeast culture is backed by a comprehensive dossier including three specific trials supporting its efficacy.
This move is a natural progression for us as we already have a substantial dairy sector orientated portfolio including forage and feed preservatives, probiotic feed supplements and products aimed at controlling mycotoxins,” Cox told feednavigator.
The additive, which he said is to undergo a name change for its EU launch, is used as a rumen stimulant to stabilize rumen pH and enhance fiber digesting populations of rumen bacteria
It is intended to be applied daily, incorporated into a total mixed ration (TMR) or as a top dressing at the dose of 1 × 1010 colony-forming units (CFU) per head per day. It is not meant to be used in pelleted or extruded feedstuffs or pre-mixtures containing trace elements, said the supplier.
In the first of three studies submitted to EFSA in the supporting documentation for the yeast additive, a total of 42 lactating cows were allocated to either a control or MycoCell group according to previous milk yield, parity, body condition score and live weight.
The firm said the animals were offered ad libitum access to the same TMR based on maize and grass silage, either with the addition of MycoCell at 1 × 1010 CFU per head per day or without the microbial additive, for a period of 114 days.
Studied parameters, added the company, included milk yield, milk fat, protein, lactose and milk somatic cell counts on a weekly basis, body condition score, live weight on a twice weekly basis, foot lameness; blood parameters at four, eight and 16 weeks post-partum, conception rate after first service and general health of the cows.
All the data were tested for normality and data that were found to be normally distributed were reviewed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). The other data were evaluated by a chi-squared test.
The FEEDAP Panel said the fact that a large number of animals - 20 - reached the end of lactation introduced too much uncertainty to be able to draw sound conclusions on the study.
It said the results of the trial were re-evaluated after the removal of data from all animals for which the days in milk was higher than 200 days - 10 cows in each experimental group.
The Panel agreed that supplementation with MycoCell significantly increased average milk yield - 27.1 versus 29.5 kg per head per day, and total fat - 0.95 versus 1.04 kg per head per day, and protein yield - 0.86 versus 0.94 kg per head per day.
Feed intake, it also found, was significantly increased in MycoCell treated cows - 22.5 versus 23.7 kg dry matter (DM) per head per day.
The two other trials with 62 and 76 lactating cows, respectively, showed similar hikes in milk production rates through the addition of the same dose of the yeast culture in the TMR.
The EFSA opinion can be read here.