Plant extracts (phytogenics) are a group of natural growth promoters (NGPs) derived from herbs, spices or other plants.They are commonly regarded as favorable alternatives to in-feed antibiotics in livestock production. Essential oils represent a concentrated form of phytogenics, containing mainly the active ingredients of the plants.


In recent years, the forthcoming ban of in-feed antibiotics, which has been implemented in Europe in January 2006, has driven research activities regarding the potential of plant extracts and essential oils as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters.
The potential benefits of using phytogenics in livestock nutrition are:
  • Increased feed intake 
  • Stimulation of digestion 
  • Increased growth performance 
  • Reduced incidence of diarrhoea 
  • Increased performance parameters 
  • Improved reproductive parameters 
  • Improved feed efficiency- higher profitability

At present, there is an increasing number of phytogenic products available on the market. However, due to a large variation in chemical composition these products vary greatly in their efficacy and dosage rate.

Tasty plants

Adding phytogenic flavouring substances to the diet can help overall performance and health in a natural way. Read more

Plant extracts for sustainability

Plant extracts in animal feed can also help in reducing the methane gas formation by ruminants. Read more

Application in pig diets

Many studies have been made on feeding supplements that contain plant extracts and their application in pig diets is an area of rapid development. Read more

Application in poultry diets

The application of plants in poultry diets are multiple. Firstly, a number of plants are known to contain high levels of metabolically active vitamin D3 and studies have shown that under adverse conditions, these can be useful in reducing the egg shell quality problems associated with age. Read more

Application in cow diets

Herbal additives have aroused much scientific interest over the past few years. Most of the studies have been performed on extracts of herbs and used in feed for monogastrics and pre-ruminants. Read more

Essential oils

Essential oils are volatile oils obtained from plants or from part thereof by, for example, steam and/or water distillation. Read more

Application in petfood

Plant extracts are also used a lot in petfood. The application for pets is more focused on allergies and overall health. Read more

Companies / Research projects / External articles

Links to relevant sites: Read more