Can Phytogenic Feed Additives Replace Antibiotic Growth Promoters for poultry in India? | Glamac

Can Phytogenic Feed Additives Replace Antibiotic Growth Promoters for poultry in India? | Glamac

best feed additives poultry company in India

Phytogenic feed additives are considered the safer alternative to synthetic growth promoters and poultry additives. This new-age poultry additive is scientifically extracted from a wide range of botanical sources like herbs, spices, and essential oils. The importance of phytogenic feed additives gain prominence in recent years to restrict the excess use of synthetic additives and anti-microbial growth promoters (AGPs) in poultry nutrition. The limitations in using AGPs for its substantial threats to both poultry and human health has compelled farm owners to rethink poultry nutrition and switch to a safer alternative as phytogenics. Some recent research trials have proved the efficacy of phytogenics in enhancing performance, improved immunity, and even metal toxicity minus zero side effects. Because of its proven antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, phytogenic feed additives are fast emerging as the promising feed alternative in advanced poultry nutrition.

Phytogenics and its role in poultry:

Phytogenic feed additives are garnering a lot of attention in poultry nutrition for all the right reasons. These botanically extracted poultry feed formulations have proven to be way safer than synthetic feed additives in promoting the healthy growth and production of poultry. Phytogenics have surfaced as the promising alternative to AGPs, which are formulated from botanical extracts and laced with therapeutic properties.

Since plant-derived, phytogenic feed additives are residue free and contain many bioactive ingredients like alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, tannins, polyphenols, capsaicin, and many other plant compounds. However, the efficacy of these botanical feed additives depends on various crucial factors like the species of the plants, gene, age, their harvesting time, and the extraction method. 

But, still, the scientifically extracted and formulated phytogenic feed additives are rich in vital plant compounds and antioxidants that aids in improved broiler physiology, enhanced meat quality, and eggs production.

Potential of plant compounds as a herbal growth promoter to antibiotic growth promoters:

The alarming health risk of antibiotic resistance in pathogens has fueled rising concerns regarding its limited uses, while some nations have completely banned AGPs in poultry nutrition. This major concern of the global poultry business has led to advance research for plant-based growth promoters, known as phytogenic feed additives.

Here is a detailed analysis of some vital botanical sources, their potential compounds, and their efficacy in poultry nutrition.

Source Compounds Benefits
Gedi leaves Flavonoid, phenolic compound, antioxidants Provide benefits for functional food
Lemon basil leaves Flavonoid, antioxidants, and antimicrobial properties Improved growth rate, and egg production
Leilem leaves Phenolic compounds, flavonoid, and antioxidants Boosts enzymes secretion
Bitter leaves Flavonoid, phenolic compounds, anti-bacterial Improved growth performance and carcass weight
Cucumber seeds Antioxidants and lipid-lowering Increased feed intake, improved digestion, and reduced abdominal fat
Pumpkin seeds Phenolic compound, antioxidants, vitamin E and zinc Improve gut health, natural dewormer
Cinnamon Cinnamic acid, antioxidants Enhances digestibility, & immunity, and reduces heat stress
Nutmeg Essential oils Reduces inflammation
Candlenut polyphenols Improve carcass performance
Celery Antioxidants, flavonoids, calcium, and vitamins Enhanced egg production
Lemongrass antioxidants Better feed conversion and natural growth promoter

Besides the essential oils in phytogenic feed additives contains some potent bioactive substances like carvacrol, capsaicin, cineole and so on that are high in anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. 

Factors behind the growing importance of phytoadditives over fading AGPs:

Because of the alarming health risks associated with the long-term use of antibiotic growth promoters, phytoadditives or phytogenic feed additives have come up as the latest, safest, and most effective poultry nutrition alternatives. Though the efficacy of phytoadditives remains speculative by some, recent research has unveiled that phytoadditives when fed in moderation can enhance performance, carcass quality, and improved immune response in the broiler. But the prime concern is whether phytogenic feed additives can meet the commercial interests of the poultry business. 

Interestingly, phytogenic feed additives have proved to excel in every parameter of commercial poultry farming. The natural botanical extracts present in the phytoadditives perfectly meet the commercial interests in aiding the fast and healthy growth of the broilers and improving egg production capacity. Here is a quick sneak peek of the impact of phytoadditives on poultry health.

  • Antioxidant compounds derived from basil and chamomile work as potent growth promoters when added to poultry feed
  • An equal mixture of phytogenic compounds thymol+ carvacrol are found to be quite effective in boosting the secretion of digestive
  • enzymes and improving immune response. A recommended dose keeps your flock secured from diseases
  • Phytoadditives extracted from Withania somnifera help in improving the feed intake of the broilers, and healthy weight gain
  • A moderate feeding of supplementation of 1 or 2g of star anise aids in improving body weight and feed conversion in broilers
  • Feeding your flock, a supplemented diet with 200mg/kg EO from peppermint enhances crude protein digestibility
  • After a research-driven analysis of the outcome of feeding phytoadditives to broilers, it is found that phytogenic feed additives (PFA) are equally beneficial and effective as growth promoters, in improving egg productivity, and vitality of the flocks.

Sun setting of AGPs:

Antimicrobial Growth Promoters (AGPs) are frequently used in poultry farming and livestock rearing to enhance feed conversion and reduce mortality. AGPs are actually lab-formulated chemical agents that are fed as the sub-therapeutic dosage of antibiotics to the poultry to keep diseases at bay and promote faster growth. To meet the increasing demand for meat consumption, ignorant poultry owners are overdosing on AGPs which in turn is making poultry pathogens resistant to drugs and poultry meat consumption is repeating the same in humans. 

The increasing multi-drug resistance cases in humans are leading to chronic infections and prolonged illness only due to the consumption of AGP-fed poultry meat.

However, the essential herbal compounds in phytoadditives like alkaloids, tannins, and flavonoids extracted from various botanical sources have proven to be extremely beneficial as alternative safe feed additives. This latest alternative feed is a great way to eliminate every possible risk of AGPs to human health.  

Advancement in the formulation and applications of phytoadditives:

To curb the sustaining harmful effects of AGPs and in search for safer plant-derived poultry feed alternatives, eminent researchers are investing considerable time and effort to introduce and confirm phytoadditives as safer and more effective herbal growth promoters. 

The efficacy of phytogenic feed additives also known as photobiotics is still under comprehensive trials as different botanical sources contain different elements that are excellent as poultry feed additives. Besides, phytoadditives are cost-efficient which is also excellent for the financial health of the global poultry business. 

Researchers are on a spree to derive the optimum efficacy of herbal poultry nutrition from a wide range of herbs and spices like thyme, oregano, black cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, and black cumin to name a few. Although the mechanism of phytoadditives is still speculative, some promising research outcomes speak otherwise.

Phytoadditives in Indian poultry scenario:

The search for a safer and more effective poultry feed alternative by Indian veterinary scientists was on since AGPs were banned in Europe in 2005. However, the current poultry business scenario in India still has the rampant use of AGPs by ignorant and unethical farm owners which is making the situation critical for public health. Though the efficacy of phytoadditives in the Indian poultry business is a definite challenge due to a lack of awareness, the Government of India is investing resources and facilities for productive research and trials in the development of a safer alternative to the risk-inducing AGPs.

So, until any product development is surfacing in the scene of phytogenic feed additives, the use of AGPs is still prevalent in the Indian poultry business. However, to curb the threat of antibiotic resistance in human beings, the Government of India is suggesting judicious applications of AGPs, which have been severely questioned to secure public health interests. While safer alternatives like probiotics, gut acidifiers, and organic acids are in use, researchers are relentlessly working to introduce the proven efficacy of phytogenic feed additives as the safest herbal growth promoter.


Though the area of research in phytogenic feed additives is a continuous process, it cannot be denied that herbal growth promoters in poultry nutrition are definitely going to have a positive impact on human and environmental health. While India has not been fully able to discontinue the use of AGPs in poultry farming, the shifting trend to a safer alternative has been noticed. If you are looking for safer herbal poultry feed additives, then look no further and browse the premium range of clinically-tested botanical poultry feed formulations at Glamac. Our latest range of phytogenic feed additives includes CYNKA, a natural antidiarrhoeal & gut modulator, GlariGO, with bio-activated curcumin, and XAROMA, a liquid cocktail of essential oils. It’s time to switch to a safer and healthier mode of poultry business with Glamac’s expert-approved phytoadditives range.