Scientific Opinion on Bactocell PA 10 (Pediococcus acidilactici) as a feed additive for laying hens
Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the safety and efficacy of the product Bactocell PA 10 as feed additive for laying hens. Bactocell PA 10 is the trade name for a feed additive based on viable cells of a strain of Pediococcus acidilactici. This product is already authorised for use in pigs, chickens for fattening, salmonids and shrimp. The applicant is now seeking authorisation for the use of Bactocell PA 10 in diets for laying hens, under the category of zootechnical additives (functional group: gut flora stabilisers), at a minimum content of 7.5 x 108 and a maximum content of 1.0 x 109 CFU/kg of complete feedingstuff. Pediococcus acidilactici is considered by EFSA to be suitable for a QPS approach for safety assessment. Therefore, no assessment of the safety for the target species, consumer and the environment is required. The safety of Bactocell PA 10 for the users has been assessed previously (EFSA, 2009a and 2009b). The use of the product with laying hens is considered unlikely to introduce hazards for users of the product not already considered. Consequently, in the present assessment the FEEDAP Panel has focused mainly on the efficacy of the additive Bactocell PA 10 for laying hens. Three trials conducted with laying hens showed significant improvements in performance when the diet was supplemented with Bactocell PA 10 at the maximum recommended dose (1.0 x 109 CFU/kg feed). These results were supported by the observations from the field trial in which, despite a high mortality, the laying intensity was increased in the treated group. Therefore, the FEEDAP Panel concludes that Bactocell PA 10 has the potential to increase the production of laying hens at the maximum recommended dose (1.0 x 109 CFU/kg feed).