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Phytogenic feed additives use predicted to rise

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The results of the 2020 BIOMIN® Phytogenic Feed Additive survey support continued growth and market expansion for this range of products. Plant-derived substances such as herbs, essential oils and phytochemicals, known as phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) are used in feed animal diets to improve animal health, growth and profitability.

The 2020 PFA survey results are largely in line with results from the 2018 edition. The majority of respondents, 669 respondents from 79 countries, predicted that their use of PFAs would rise in the following 12 months, citing antimicrobial effect, digestibility enhancement and growth promotion as the top three motivations.

Slightly over half the respondents (52%) indicated that they currently used PFAs as part of their poultry or livestock feeding program. Eleven percent of the respondents had used PFAs in the past but were no longer using them, while 38% had never used PFAs.


Expectations for PFA use in the next 12 months, n = 295.


Among the 52% of respondents that currently applied PFAs, 75% used commercially mixed products, 11% used their own blend of oils and herbs and 14% used both (respondents could select multiple options). The popularity of using commercially mixed products in animal diets compared with blending essential oils and herbs on-site is likely due to the inherent variability of active compounds in plant raw materials, the report states.


Types of PFAs applied by respondents, n = 308.


Due to ecological and climatic factors, the natural raw materials used in essential oils or non-volatile extracts typically contain varying levels of active compounds. This natural variation increases the likelihood of inconsistent results. The report encourages PFA manufacturers to conduct a sensory evaluation of raw materials by a scientifically trained panel and, more importantly, analytical evaluation of raw materials and finished products to ensure feed and animal protein producers get the best results from their PFA products.

The antimicrobial effect, digestibility enhancement and growth promotion are once again cited as the top three reasons for use among global respondents. Phytogenic feed additives play a role in a holistic approach to antibiotic reduction incorporating biosecurity, vaccination, farm management and nutrition improvements. Nutrient or energy sparing was cited by nearly twice as many respondents as their reason for PFA use compared to the 2018 survey results.

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