Algae, Not Antibiotics: Why Animal Feed Should Go Green

(DGIwire) – In late 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration put into place a major new policy to phase out the unrestricted use of antibiotics in cows, pigs and chickens over the following three years. Antibiotics were used as growth promoters, but according to a report in The New York Times, experts say this practice had consequences to human health by contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.

“Researchers are looking for ways to promote a healthy immune response in livestock and other animals, or even to prevent the onset of conditions like bovine mastitis,” says Andrew Dahl, President and CEO of ZIVO Bioscience, a biotech/agtech R&D company engaged in the commercialization of nutritional and medicinal products derived from proprietary algal strains. “It turns out that algae-based products may hold the key to   improved animal feeds.”

As a feed ingredient for dairy cows, the company has conducted in vitro and in vivo studies to substantiate the usefulness of its processed algal biomass to fortify generic feed mixes with high-availability non-starch polysaccharides, vitamins, amino acids and quality protein, which in combination is intended to support improved milk productivity on a herd-wide basis, as well as a healthy immune system.

Meanwhile, as a phytogenic poultry feed ingredient, ZIVO’s algal strain is positioned to enter the poultry nutrition market, where early indications suggest that small amounts of algal biomass may be beneficial to broiler health, which may in turn increase productivity and potentially decrease reliance on antibiotics as growth promoters.

“Consumers are increasingly calling for less reliance on antibiotics, medicated feeds, hormones and GMOs in food production, and react positively to the introduction of natural additives to support animal health. We are in a position where the low cost of production startup and a unique blend of protein, micronutrients and non-starch polysaccharides may result in a feed ingredient that is more healthful than competitive offerings in a wide range of livestock and poultry applications,” Dahl adds.

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