The animal article of the month for August is entitled “Review: In vivo and post-mortem effcts of feed antioxidants in livestock: a review of the implications on authorization of antioxidant feed additives”

Antioxidants are literally substances that inhibit oxidation when present in an oxidizable substrate and function to avert damage in biological systems or deterioration in food products. Regulatory jurisdictions in most countries including the European Union (EU), legislate the use of antioxidant feed additives in livestock production mainly to prevent deterioration of animal feeds. A multitude of scientific literature has demonstrated that antioxidants could also be used to maintain animal health particularly during oxidative stress conditions (in vivo effects) and improve the quality of animal-derived foods (post-mortem effects).

Appraisal of existing feed additive legislation will be required to justify the exclusive authorization of antioxidants for their in vivo and post-mortem effects. This proposition will stimulate the innovation of more potent antioxidant products and help to avoid indiscriminate use of antioxidants due to the specification of claims and dosage on product labels. Regulatory review of antioxidant authorization will have a major impact on efficacy assessment and functional status of antioxidants with reference to the EU feed additive legislation in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003. Contrary to the routine in vitro trials that are currently used for demonstrating the efficacy claims of antioxidants in dossier applications, in vivo and post-mortem efficacy of antioxidants will keenly require documentation of in vivo trials. In our review paper, we highlighted assays for quantifying the in vivo and post-mortem efficacy of antioxidants. It is pertinent to emphasize that evaluation of in vivo antioxidant efficacy would require simultaneous application of many of the different assays to obtain objective results. Regarding the categorization of antioxidants for their in vivo effects, we proposed two potential functional groups under which antioxidants can be authorized: (1) antioxidants as substances that will positively influence the immune function of animals (i.e. immuno-modulators), (2) antioxidants as substances that will act within the animal to correct undesired consequences of nutritional origin (i.e. metabolic regulators). Furthermore, we proposed that antioxidants can be authorized for their post-mortem effects according to these potential functional groups: (1) antioxidants as substances intended to improve the sensory characteristics and product acceptance of animal products (i.e. sensory additives), (2) antioxidants as substances intended to improve the nutritional characteristics of animal products (i.e. nutrition enhancers), (3) antioxidants as substances used for prolonging the shelf life of animal products (i.e. shelf-life extenders).

Based on the in vivo efficacy claims, antioxidants may have to contend with the legislative controversy of either to be considered as veterinary drugs or feed additives. In this scenario, antioxidants are not intended to diagnose or cure diseases as ascribed to veterinary products. This twisted distinction can be logically debated with reference to the stipulated status of feed additives in Commission Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003. Indeed, appraisal of authorization legislations is generally perceived to be an arduous struggle. However, we anticipate for a positive outcome if relevant stakeholders in the feed additive industry could dedicate concerted efforts to antioxidant research and lobby for the review of related regulatory jurisdictions.

This article is freely available for one month

“Review: In vivo and post-mortem effcts of feed antioxidants in livestock: a review of the implications on authorization of antioxidant feed additives”
Authors: S. A. Salami, A. Guinguina, J. O. Agboola, A. A. Omede, E. M. Agbonlahor and U. Tayyab

The animal Article of the Month is selected by the Editor-in-Chief and is freely available for one month. View the recent selections

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