Microbial cultures in feeds are frequently termed “probiotics” to distinguish them from antibiotics traditionally applied to prevent infection in the animal, thereby enhancing growth. In the wake of consumer reaction against intensive animal rearing and a trend to ‘organic’ meat, probiotics have become established as alternatives to antibiotics and growth promoters. The application of probiotics in animal sector was pioneered by Scandinavian companies but many other companies have developed probiotic cultures. These cultures are available either as freeze-dried granules or as dries spores in the form of bolus or paste.
The worldwide market for probiotic cultures is given and major companies involved in this are profiled. The projected market for probiotic cultures by 2020 is estimated.