Since the ban on antibiotic growth promoters in the EU in 2006, phytogenic (plant derived) feed additives have been on the rise in global animal production. Also in Asia, the industry is seeking for effective alternatives to the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics for growth performance. Since antibiotic-free feeding programs receive increased attention among scientists, nutritionists, feed manufacturers and farmers, phytogenics are moving further into the spotlight due to their holistic and broad-spectrum efficacy.
In particular, phytogenics show enormous promise for their proven impact on performance, sustainability, feed and food safety, says Markus Dedl, CEO of Delacon, the Austrian family business that pioneered the category for more than 28 years.
Powerful plants with vast potential
Phytogenics, commonly defined as plant-based feed additives or botanicals, represent a group of natural substances used in animal nutrition, Dedl explains. These substances are derived from herbs, spices and their extracts, such as essential oils. The term phytogenics was coined more than 25 years ago by Delacon, which even then recognized the potential of plants to meet challenges in animal nutrition.