The European Commission has authorised the use of astaxanthin
dimethyldisuccinate – a carotenoid pigment – as a feed additive. This pigment is
already used to make the flesh of farmed salmon and trout appear
The official authorisation appeared in the Official Journal of the
European Union today (1 May). The European Food Safety Authority last year
concluded that use of the additive has no adverse effect on animal health, human
health or the environment.
But the regulation stipulates that if it is
mixed with canthaxanthin – another carotenoid – the total concentration of
the mixture should not exceed 100 grams per kilo in fish-feed. In 2003 the EU
limited permitted levels of canthaxantin following health fears linking use of
the carotenoid pigment to eye defects.
In addition to be being used to
colour the flesh of farmed salmon and trout canthaxantin is also used to make
chicken skin and egg yolks appear more yellow. Authorisation takes effect 20
days after the publication of the regulation in the 1 May edition of
the EU's Official Journal.
Subscribe here to the free animal feed