Dietary additives for livestock

This solution was shared by PRE-LAUNCH RESEARCH TEAM , 14 May 2021

Print date: 20 October 2023 11:18

Description of the innovative solution

Animal feed Enzymes Diet diversity Food safety Animal husbandry

Dietary additives in livestock food attempt to improve the nutrition and quality of the feed, the animal’s gut health, the cow’s immune system, and the digestibility of the food. Enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics, antioxidants, and antibiotic growth promoters are among some of the widely available dietary additives. Extensively used across the world, dietary additives for livestock might improve ruminant fiber digestion and productivity and reduce methanogenesis. These additives include dietary lipids, electron receptors, antibiotics, enzymes in the form of celluloses or hemicelluloses, probiotics (such as yeast culture), algae, propionate precursors such as fumarate or malate, condensed tannins and saponins. Some supplements could manipulate microbial populations in the rumen to reduce methane production, such as CH4 inhibitory vaccinations against methanogens or chemical defaunation to eliminate rumen protozoa. While regulations on livestock dietary additives differ across the world, additives must meet food regulation guidelines in many industrialized nations, many of which require producers to label the additives on meat packaging.

Supply chain segment

Agricultural inputs and primary production practices

Maturity level



Food quality Food safety

SDG target

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being


Urban Peri-urban Rural Marine/Coastal

Examples and additional resources

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Additional resources

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Environmental Performance of Feed Additives in Livestock Supply Chains
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations analysis of and guidelines on the range of impacts of cattle feed additives on livestock supply chains.


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