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Enhancing Sustainability in Animal Production through Citrus Extract Utilization

Enhancing Sustainability in Animal Production through Citrus Extract Utilization


Utilizing specific citrus extracts in animal production proves to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach. This plant-based additive, derived as a co-product from the food industry, exhibits a low carbon footprint. Recent research (Bui et al., 2023) has meticulously evaluated the environmental impact of a citrus extract, shedding light on its potential to contribute to a more sustainable meat production system.


Global Meat Consumption Challenge:

With an anticipated 14% increase in meat consumption by 2030 compared to 2018-2020 (FAO), addressing the environmental impact of meat production is crucial. Poultry and pork, representing a significant portion of global meat production, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, and land use. The meat industry faces the challenge of increasing production while minimizing the carbon footprint.


Feed Additives as a Solution:

Amidst over 250 peer-reviewed articles on meat production life cycle assessment, feed additives emerge as a promising solution. Some additives, particularly those based on food co-products, demonstrate the potential to improve animal performance and reduce resource requirements. Citrus extract, a focus of recent studies, stands out for its dual benefits in enhancing animal performance and addressing environmental concerns.


Citrus Extract in Post-AGP Era:

The ban on antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) in the European Union has driven the search for alternatives. Citrus extract-based feed additives have gained prominence among alternatives like enzymes, organic acids, prebiotics, and probiotics. Rich in pectic-oligosaccharides and citroflavonoids, citrus extracts have shown positive effects on gut microbiota, leading to improved animal performances.


Standardization for Consistency:

Despite the potential benefits, the variability in composition and concentration of active compounds in citrus extracts necessitates standardization. Dr. Cisse's team conducted a comprehensive characterization in 2022 to standardize a high-performing citrus extract. This standardization ensures consistency in its application, enhancing reliability across studies.


Environmental Assessment:

A recent study by Bui et al. evaluates the environmental footprint of a commercial citrus extract feed additive. The life cycle assessment, conducted in accordance with ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, reveals a relatively low environmental footprint. The production of 25kg of this citrus-based feed additive generates 13.1kg of CO2 equivalent, requiring 66 liters of water and 5.3m2 of land. Importantly, the use of this extract in feed contributes to a reduction in the carbon footprint of meat production.


Positive Impacts on Animal Performance:

Meta-analysis of trials using the standardized citrus extract demonstrates its efficiency in enhancing animal performance. With an increase in average daily gain (ADG) and a reduction in feed conversion ratio (FCR) for both swine and broilers, this additive proves to be a valuable tool in achieving sustainable animal production.


Company Commitment:

Nor-Feed, the company behind the citrus extract, extends its commitment to sustainability beyond a single plant extract. Their life cycle assessment methodology is systematically applied to all main plant-based products, aiming to eliminate synthetic molecules like antibiotics and pesticides from animal feed. This commitment aligns with the broader goal of reducing the footprint of animal production.



The utilization of standardized citrus extract as a feed additive presents a dual advantage in enhancing animal performance and mitigating the environmental impact of meat production. As the global demand for meat rises, embracing such sustainable solutions becomes imperative for a resilient and eco-friendly animal production industry.

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