In the last 10 years, the use of probiotics in the feed of farm animals such as pigs, poultry, ruminants, aquaculture feeds, and pet feeds has increased significantly. According to a market research, the total sales volume of feed probiotics, which was 1.19 million tons in 2018, reached 1.26 million tons in 2019. It is estimated that this usage will increase in the coming years for reasons such as protecting animal health, supporting growth, increasing immunity and productivity, and increasing the quality of animal products, and will exceed 2 million tons in 2027.
By Derya Yıldız
Factors such as the increase in demand in animal protein consumption and the limitations on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters lead animal breeders to search for new feeds based on production performance, health, and quality. Probiotics are gaining value as an alternative feed supplement in this environment. Especially in the last 10 years, the use of probiotics as supplements in animal feed for health and performance reasons has increased significantly.
According to a research from Transparency Market Research, probiotic supplements are undoubtedly beneficial for animal growth and gut health. However, consumers are still battling various side effects related to animal growth. In the meantime, technological advances in molecular biology and gene sequencing are allowing researchers and scientists to develop new animal feed probiotic formulas that are more adaptable and specific to certain animals. The development of modern technology is reshaping the animal feed probiotic market and offers better opportunities for the coming years.
PROBIOTICS USED IN ANIMAL FEED
Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed or taken into the body. Probiotics are found naturally in products of the human diet, such as yogurt and other fermented foods.
Probiotics used in animal nutrition are generally produced commercially and offered to the market in liquid and solid forms. Probiotics are classified as bacteria, yeast and fungi. The most commonly used probiotic bacteria in animal feeds include Lactobacillus, Bacillus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus, Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium, and Propionibacterium. Most commercially available probiotics such as these are noted to contain more than one species for maximum potency, and some also contain fungi and yeast.
ANIMAL FEED PROBIOTICS MARKET
In the last 10 years, the use of probiotics in the feed of farm animals such as pigs, poultry, ruminants, aquaculture feeds, and pet feeds has increased significantly. For example, according to the research of Transparency Market Research, the total recorded sales volume of this market was 1.19 million tons in 2018 and reached 1.26 million tons in 2019. It is estimated that this usage will increase in the coming years for reasons such as protecting animal health, supporting growth, increasing immunity and productivity, and increasing the quality of animal products, and will exceed 2 million tons in 2027.
According to the market report on animal feed probiotics by Markets and Markets, the market value of probiotics used in animal feed was around $4.6 billion in 2019. This market is expected to grow 7.4 percent annually until 2025, reaching a total value of $7 billion. Another research organization, Fortune Business Insights, estimates that the market, which was worth $3.56 billion in 2018, will grow by 7.3 percent annually until 2026, reaching $6.24 billion.
Market reports on probiotics indicate that probiotics for the poultry group will have the largest share in this expected growth. On a regional basis, the largest growth is projected to occur in Asia-Pacific (due to increased demand for poultry products in densely populated countries such as China and India). A significant increase in demand is expected in the Middle East for similar reasons as in the Asia-Pacific region. In North America, it is estimated that the increase in the pet population will lead to an increase in the demand for probiotics, especially for this group.
Probiotics used as animal feed supplements are usually offered in dry and liquid form. It is thought that especially the dry form will be preferred more in the coming years due to its advantages such as low storage costs, ease of transportation, and longer shelf life. In addition, in terms of microbial species, it is predicted that lactobacillus-based bacterial animal feed probiotics will surpass non-bacterial probiotics in the next 5-10 years.
ACCEPTED BENEFITS OF PROBIOTICS
The general benefits of probiotics in terms of animal health and welfare are frequently mentioned by industry representatives, and these benefits are widely accepted among livestock farmers.
It is an acknowledged benefit that probiotic strains of bacteria help maintain the microbial flora (healthy levels of good bacteria) in the gastrointestinal tract by protecting the gut against pathogenic bacteria. In this way, they help to destroy harmful bacteria, effectively digest fiber and increase the absorption of nutrients, and contribute to increasing animal performance and the quality of animal products such as eggs, milk, and meat. It is also stated that probiotics help increase resistance against pathogens by improving immune systems, and also help treat irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, infectious diarrhea, and antibiotic-induced diarrhea. In addition, it is evaluated that probiotics can reduce salmonella.
However, it is recommended to use probiotics in moderate amounts, as in all other additives and supplements. Errors in dosage can cause digestive disorders.
Various reports published on probiotics indicate that probiotics will be used more in the coming years for purposes such as regulating intestinal flora and increasing immunity, reducing the stress level, and increasing the quality of animal products in animals.
COMMERCIAL PROBIOTICS INDUSTRY
Many large companies that develop additives and ingredients for animal feed are strengthening their research and development capabilities to offer new and innovative products under the umbrella of animal feed probiotics for the specific needs and demands of animals. As a result of these R&D studies, they continue to introduce their new probiotic products to the industry. It is stated that technological developments, especially in molecular biology and gene sequencing, have an important place in the development of probiotic-based animal feed products.
There are many companies producing feed probiotics for different animal species around the world. Companies such as Adisseo (France), Alltech (USA), Biochem (Germany), Chr. Hansen (Denmark), Evonik Industries (Germany), Kerry Group (Ireland), Koninklijke DSM (Royal DSM – Netherlands), Lallemand (Canada), IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances – DuPont – USA), Calpis Co. (Japan), Land O’Lakes (USA), Phileo by Lesaffre (France), Novozymes (Denmark), Orffa (Netherlands), Mitsui & Co. (Japan), Novus International (USA), Provita Eurotech (Northern Ireland), Bactana Animal Health (USA) and Unique Biotech (India) are among important companies that develop feed probiotics for farm animals mainly for poultry, ruminants and pigs. Of course, some of these companies also have probiotics for aquaculture and pet groups. But companies like Microbial LLC (USA) and Pure Cultures (USA) are more prominent in pet food probiotics, while Biomin Holding (Austria) and Schouw & Co. Companies such as (BioMar – Denmark) draw attention in terms of feed probiotics for aquaculture.
When evaluating the probiotic solutions developed by dozens of different companies, the only issue that should be kept in mind is that for what purpose you want to use probiotics in which animal.
1. Probiotic Use Growing in Animal Feed and Nutrition, Vinit Patil – Grand View Research, Nutritional Outlook, June 27, 2018
2. Probiotics in Animal Feed Market – Global Forecast to 2025, MarketsandMarkets, April 2019
3. Animal Feed Probiotics Market, Transparency Market Research (TMR), 2019-10-11
4. The role of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics in animal nutrition, Paulina Markowiak & Katarzyna Śliżewska, BMC – Gut Pathogens, 06 June 2018
5. Efficiency of Probiotics in Farm Animals, By Etleva Delia, Myqerem Tafaj and Klaus Männer, IntechOpen, October 3rd 2012
6. FAO Animal Production and Health – Probiotics In Animal Nutrition (Production, Impact and Regulation), Food And Agriculture Organization of The United Nations, Rome, 2016