News last update:6 Aug 2012

Sharp increase in use of plant extracts

The use of plant extracts and essential oils ('extracts') by feed companies in the EU has risen from 55% before the January 2006 EU ban on antibiotic growth promoters in animal feeds to 75% since.

The figures come from a survey of feed manufacturers in seven EU countries carried out by the specialist ingredients manufacturer Pancosma. It also found 76% of participants said they believed extracts would become more important in the future.

A key issue behind this trend is a growing acceptance of and confidence in the performance-enhancing properties of extracts, according to Pancosma spokesman Gavin Raper.

He says an essential component of introducing new extract-based products to the market is employing rigorous scientific-methodology during their development.

"In the early days of introducing plant-based feed supplements, the development of some products may have owed more to herbalism than science," he says. "Today though, we research and develop plant extract-based performance enhancers with the same precision and scientific rigour as amino acid supplementation."

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