EFSA weighs up efficacy of probiotic, phytase and selenium products

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages
© GettyImages
The EU risk assessor for feed and food has released three new opinions linked to animal feed this week.

First off, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), said a probiotic developed by Lactosan​ has the potential to be efficacious as gut flora stabilizer in feed for calves to increase growth, following its assessment of a new study on the product. 

The additive is Bacillus subtilis ​DSM 28343, a preparation of viable spores of a single strain of B​. subtilis. ​It is currently authorized for use in feed for broiler chickens and in weaned piglets.  

In 2018, EFSA's panel on additives and products or substances used in animal feed (FEEDAP) delivered a scientific opinion on the safety and efficacy of Bacillus subtilis ​DSM 28343 as an additive for calves for rearing.  EFSA said it considers the species to be suitable for the qualified presumption of safety (QPS) approach to safety assessment.

In that opinion, the panel said it was unable to conclude on the efficacy of the additive, under the condition of use as proposed by the applicant, due to what it said was a lack of data.

However, in the latest review, the panel assessed additional data submitted by Lactosan to demonstrate the efficacy of Bacillus subtilis ​DSM 28343. They experts said, based on the one study in this application and two studies submitted in the previous application, the Bacillus subtilis ​DSM 28343 has the potential to be efficacious as gut flora stabilizer used in feed for calves for rearing at the proposed use level.

Assessment of a phytase for layers  

In another opinion published this week, EFSA found a BASF additive​, branded as Natuphos E (6‐phytase), has the potential to be efficacious in improving the performance and/or the phosphorus utilization in laying hens at 200 FTU/kg feed. 

The additive in question was previously assessed by the FEEDAP panel in 2017. The production strain of the phytase present in the product is a genetically modified strain of Aspergillus niger​.

Based on the previous opinion, the panel concluded that the genetic modification of the production strain does not give rise to safety concerns. The production strain and its DNA were not detected in the concentrate used to formulate the products. The FEEDAP Panel previously concluded that the additive was safe for the target species, consumers and the environment when used at 200 FTU/kg feed.

In this assessment, it said that, based on two short‐term studies in which the additive showed improvements in phosphorous utilization (one at 100 FTU/kg feed and another one at 200 FTU/kg feed) and one long‐term study in which performance parameters were enhanced in laying hens at 200 FTU/kg feed, it concluded that Natuphos E has the potential to be efficacious at a minimum dose of 200 FTU/kg feed.

The conclusions of the efficacy of the additive can be extrapolated to minor poultry and other avian species for laying, added the panel.

Selenium study

A further opinion shows EFSA backing the safety and efficacy of a sodium selenate product​ as a nutritional feed additive for ruminants, when used via an intraruminal bolus in ruminants. The applicant in this case was Retorte GmbH.

EFSA said the additive under assessment, in its intended use as complementary feed for ruminants in the form of boluses, is a substitute for other authorized selenium additives and will not further increase the environmental burden of selenium.

Based on two studies submitted in cattle and sheep and studies from the literature, the FEEDAP panel found that sodium selenite, delivered by a bolus to ruminants, is an efficacious source of selenium in meeting the animals’ requirements.

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