EU approval of Se supplements: A new era for farmers
Commercial availability of effective organic selenium
supplements in the EU could open up a new era of added value food products for
livestock farmers throughout the region, according to nutrition researcher and
consultant Professor Peter Surai.
Applications for organic feed supplements based on selenium yeast are
currently being assessed by the EU feed additives authorities, and decisions are
expected to be made this year. Surai, author of the new book "Selenium in Nutrition and Health"
, believes primary producers
across the livestock sectors could soon have new opportunities to develop higher
value custom-produced brands that will meet the growing demand for functional
"There is now widespread recognition of the importance of optimum selenium
status in human health, and particularly in relation to the prevention of
cancer," he says. "It is also widely known, and specifically in Europe, that
diets are often marginal and sometimes deficient in this important trace
"The enrichment of staple foods with selenium will I believe, become of
increasing interest to the general population, if not governments. There are
already a number of success stories outside the EU of selenium-enriched foods,
so we know that the processes of supplementing livestock and developing
commercial products are both practical and economic to achieve. There are twelve
poultry companies in Russia producing several million selenium-enriched eggs
Professor Surai makes the point that staple foods such as eggs, meat and
milk meet the required criteria for effective food supplementation strategies of
being consumed regularly by the majority of people in moderate amounts, and
being affordable. Selenium enrichment through this route is therefore considered
to be safer and more effective than alternative strategies, such as the
widespread application of fertiliser on agricultural land for example.
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