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News 718 views last update:6 Aug 2012

EFSA: How safe is a feed additive used to preserve cereals for animals

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed looked at the safety and efficacy of a feed additive which is used to preserve cereals with a high moisture content for pigs, poultry, bovines, sheep, goats, rabbits and horses.

The feed additive is a mixture of sodium benzoate 140 g/kg, propionic acid 370 g/kg and sodium propionate 110 g/kg and is intended to be used as a preservative for cereals with a high moisture content. The applicant has now resubmitted the studies already considered, seeking a reassessment of the data on efficacy for all cereals with a broad range of moisture content.
 
The FEEDAP Panel concluded, on the basis of the evidence provided, that the additive successfully preserves high-moisture grains other than maize kernels at a minimum dose of 3 000 mg/kg cereal and maize kernels at a minimum dose of 13 000 mg/kg. For complete feed containing cereals with a moisture content greater than 12 %, the minimum effective dose is 5 000 mg/kg.
 
The Panel also considered that the currently authorised maximum concentration for cereal grain of 22 000 mg/kg (equivalent to 10 000 mg/kg complete feed) should be retained for all cereals to preserve target animal safety.
 
The FEEDAP Panel recognised that the effective dose of the additive depends largely on the initial moisture content of the cereal at harvest, the form (whole grain vs. ground) and the intended storage period. For this reason, the actual effective dose may lie between the minimum and maximum concentration authorised under present legislation.

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