Vitamins as Animal Feed Additive – Booster for Health and Nourishment

Published on 11 Nov, 2014

Animal feed additives are pharmaceutical or nutritional supplements that are not natural feedstuff. These are added to prepared and stored feeds. Vitamins are organic substances necessary for normal metabolic processes in animals. A deficiency or complete lack of one or more vitamins may lead to metabolic disorders, resulting in depressed performance, growth retardation, fertility problems or diseases. Global animal feed additive market stood at $14 billion in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4% to $19 billion by 2020. Vitamins accounted for 8.9% share of the animal feed additive market in 2013, and are likely to see a steady demand.

Vitamins as animal feed additives have attracted significant investments in research and development. More than 500 patents in this domain are filed every year.

Consistent Patent Filing Activity in the Last Six Years

Patent filing has constantly increased from 2009 to 2014, with the highest number of filing reported in 2013. China dominated the research space, with approximately 3,964 patents, followed by the United States of America. A total of 3,699 patent applications have been filed via the PCT route.

Patent Filing Animal Feed

High number of patent filings in China can be attributed to its emergence as a manufacturing hub for APIs, Pharmaceuticals and other ingredients used in food and medicinal products.

Top Companies are Focusing on Vitamins as Animal Feed Additive

To tap this lucrative market, several companies such as Nestec Inc., Shandong Liuhe Group, DSM IP Assets, Novozymes and Hills Pet Nutrition Inc. have entered the segment. In terms of patents, Nestec Inc. leads with 108 patents filed in the last five years followed by Shandong Liuhe Group.

Company Number patents filed (2008 onwards) Key Focus Areas
Nestle (Nestec Inc.) 108 Animal feed containing vitamins to reduce oxidative stress in animals.
Shandong Liuhe Group 100 Vitamins-containing feed for poultry and pigs to improve the meat quality and flavour.
DSM IP Assets 98 Animal feed compositions for combating metabolic challenges and disorders such as ascites-related mortality in chickens.
Novozymes 56 Animal feed compositions for aiding protein absorption and strengthening immunity.
Hills Pet Nutrition Inc. 47 To improve metabolic function as well as photo-protection of skin.

Source: Aranca analysis based on Thomson Innovation Data

Future Research to Focus on Development Additives for Animal Feed

The research focus is on the development of animal feed containing vitamins to boost immunity and improve metabolic challenges and disorders such as ascites-related mortality in chickens, and for aiding protein absorption and strengthening immunity.

Our analysis shows that future research in this area will be focused on fulfilling the nutritional needs of animals, resulting in longer lifespan and better meat quality and yield of animal feed. Some of the specific areas will include:

  • Improved nutritive egg quality with addition of Vitamin A, D, E and C to the feed
  • Improvement in immunity by addition of vitamins, along with certain amino acids, minerals and plant extracts such as carotenoids in animal feed.
  • Better meat quality by use of vitamins such as Vitamin E which helps reduce oxidation of fat in meat, preventing unpleasant odour and flavour.