the power of nature


What are phytogenics?

Phytogenic feed additives, commonly defined as plant-based feed additives or botanicals, represent a group of natural substances used in animal nutrition. These substances are derived from herbs, spices, other plants and their extracts, like essential oils.

The term phytogenic feed additives was coined nearly three decades ago by Delacon, which even then recognized the potential of plants to meet challenges in animal nutrition.

Phytogenic feed additives

© Delacon


Phytogenics for animal growth and performance


A key solution for conventional and antibiotic-free animal nutrition

Known for their broad-spectrum efficacy, phytogenics have moved into the spotlight among scientists, nutritionists, feed manufacturers, producers and farmers.

Delacon phytogenic feed additives have been successfully fed to livestock in the United States for more than 15 years. However, in recent years producers searching for new approaches to effectively support animal performance without the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) has driven increased interest.

Phytogenic feed additives are a top solution for multi-species animal nutrition. They are a key piece for solving present and future challenges, including those posed by consumer-driven market demands such as cage-free hen housing or “no antibiotics ever” programs.

Modes of action


Nature offers massive potential to animal nutrition with botanical compounds and various mode of action. 

Delacon’s phytogenic feed additives contain more than 100 natural ingredients from many different active ingredient groups, such as pungent substancesbitter substancesessential oilssaponinsflavonoidsmucilages and tannins. Delacon works to unleash their effects, targeting optimized animal performance.


The impacts can include:


  • Sensorial stimulation and palatability
  • Increased enzymatic activity in the intestinal tract
  • Improved nutrient utilization
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Enhanced quorum sensing inhibition leading to reduced bacterial pathogenicity
  • Support of gut integrity
  • Support of reproductive performance


Phytogenic feed additives using plant extracts show greater modes of action in animal nutrition compared to synthetic (chemically produced) nature-identical substances. This advantage is based on the synergistic effects of all agents within a plant, which have not been reduced to the effects of a single lead substance. This natural synergy, combined with sustainability and safety, makes our plant-based feed additives a top solution platform in multispecies animal nutrition.




© Delacon's phytogenic universe


Phytogenics connect with consumers


Supporting animal wellness with natural ingredients: a story to share with audiences from farm to fork

Today’s livestock producers need animal nutrition solutions that not only work, but also resonate positively with consumers. And phytogenics are already making an impression.

Delacon conducted a survey1 in the U.S. of millennial foodies to see what they thought of phytogenics – or natural plant-based ingredients, such as garlic, cinnamon and thyme, fed to chickens, pigs and other animals. Phytogenics scored a high level of approval among millennial foodies, nine out of 10 millennial foodies say meat and poultry produced with phytogenics would make a positive impact on their brand choice.

The benefits of feeding phytogenics to animals – including promoting animal gut integrity, reducing ammonia emissions by up to 50 percent and being a proven performer in antibiotic-free production – line up with millennial values and support a compelling narrative.


1 This survey was conducted online within the United States by Millennium Research on behalf of the Delacon in December 2016 among 505 millennial adults ages 24-34.

The story of phytogenics in animal production can connect with millennials.

© Delacon


Be phytogenius and always up-to-date


You want to know more about phytogenic feed additives and other topics related to animal nutrition? Subscribe for Delacon’s phytogenic newsletter.

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