Scientific Opinion on Safety and efficacy of AviPlus® as feed additive for weaned piglets
AviPlus® is based on a mixture of citric (25%) and sorbic (16.7%) acids, thymol (1.7%) and vanillin (1.0%). It is intended for use with weaned piglets at 1–3 g/kg complete feed. The applicant initially did not consider vanillin to be an integral component of AviPlus® and so did not monitor its concentration. Thus, it is assumed that vanillin was present at the specified concentration in the test substance used in the studies described. In the absence of any adverse effects at ten times the maximum recommended dose, the FEEDAP Panel considers that AviPlus® is safe for weaned piglets when used at the dose range proposed. As all the active components in AviPlus® occur naturally and are authorised for use in human food, the FEEDAP Panel considers that the use of the additive in animal feed is safe for consumers. The potential for irritation/sensitisation by dermal/ocular exposure cannot be fully excluded. No environmental assessment is considered necessary as the active components occur widely in nature and the use of the additive would not detectably add to the existing environmental load. Seven studies were provided to establish efficacy, three with the maximum and four the minimum recommended dose. Significant improvements in daily weight gain and feed to gain ratio were seen in all three studies with the maximum recommended dose. Benefits were seen at the minimum dose in only two of the four studies but a meta-analysis of the four studies showed an overall significant improvement in feed to gain ratio and a higher final bodyweight. Consequently, the FEEDAP Panel concludes that AviPlus® has the potential to increase the growth rate of piglets and improve feed to gain ratio with the minimum recommended dose.