BASF drops EQ from carotenoid additives, launches replacements

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages/ ko_orn
©GettyImages/ ko_orn
BASF Animal Nutrition is adapting its carotenoid feed additives to EU regulatory requirements with the development of a new EQ-free product line.

The Germany-based company announced at the end of August that it was launching a new line of carotenoid products for the EU 28 market. The feed additives are stabilized with propyl gallate (PG), butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) or tocopherol.

The new product line does not use the antioxidant ethoxyquin​ (EQ) as a stabilizer, said Daniel Wagner, global production manager for carotenoids with BASF Animal Nutrition. The revised line of additives was developed to support the needs of customers in the EU market.

The new product line includes a Lucantin red 10% (Canthaxanthin), Lucantin Yellow 10% NXT (C30 Ester) and Lucantin CX 10% NXT (Citranaxanthin), he said.

“We replaced EQ with tocopherol as well as propyl gallate (PG) for Lucantin Red 10% NXT,”​ he told FeedNavigator. “We replaced EQ with butylhydroxytoluene (BHT) as well as propyl gallate (PG) for Lucantin Yellow 10% NXT and Lucantin CX 10% NXT.”

EU regulation change

The changes were made to the series of poultry feed additives to bring them into line with a change in EU regulation that calls for the removal of EQ as a feed additive, BASF reported.

The European Commission formally suspended authorization for use of EQ in June of 2017, with a publication​ in the Official Journal of the EU. The organization said that there was insufficient information to establish that the additive “does not have an adverse effect on animal health, human health or the environment.”  

“BASF already markets carotenoids without using EQ as stabilizer such as Lucarotin 10% Feed NXT as well as its Astaxanthin Lucantin Pink CWD product line, which have been in the market before the EU’s decision to suspend its use,” ​Wagner said. “As we do not compromise on feed safety, we accordingly developed the Lucantin® NXT carotenoids product line.”

“Our new Lucantin NXT carotenoids will replace previous carotenoids in Europe as follows: Lucantin Red 10% NXT will replace Lucantin Red, Lucantin Yellow 10% NXT will replace Lucantin Yellow and Lucantin CX 10% NXT will replace Lucantin CX forte,”​ he added.

BASF development and market availability

The carotenoid line is focused on use in poultry, said Wagner. “The development phase of Lucantin NXT carotenoids took a little longer than expected due to the Force Majeure​ we faced in 2017,”​ he added.

“Trial results have shown that Lucantin NXT carotenoids combine superior product performance with compliance in feed safety,”​ he said. “Lucantin NXT carotenoids provide high homogeneity, outstanding stability and long shelf life while maintaining egg yolk and broiler skin coloring efficacy.”

Trials were run to assess premix and feed stability at multiple temperatures to check that the new formulations met the company’s quality standards, he said.  

“We carried out bioefficacy trials during the development phase to test the coloring efficacy of the newly developed products,”​ said Wagner. “These trials last around 30 days as it takes almost 10 days for the yolk formation – development from primary to tertiary follicle.”

“After 28 days the eggs are collected, and the yolk color is measured, along with the amount of carotenoids incorporated into the yolk,”​ he added.

In addition to the EU market, the products also will be replacing the carotenoid additive in other countries, he said. However, there is no time frame set for that effort at this point as it depends on the registration process in those countries.

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