Prebiotics are the non- digestible functional ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of favorable bacteria’s in the gut of the host. Prebiotics facilitate the immune system thereby improving animal health. It is added to the animal feed to maintain gut health and thus prevent the prevalence of pathogens in the food chain. Prebiotics and probiotics are two different categories of fermented ingredients. Probiotics are live cultures of micro organisms that provide balance of bacteria in the gut. Commonly used probiotics are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus species and Enterococci faecium. Prebiotics in combination with probiotics are called as a synbiotics.

The rise in global meat consumption and ban of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal feed are the factors driving the growth of this market. However, greater market visibility for probiotics and strict government regulations are the major constraints for market growth.

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 Historically, chicory remains a major source of inulin and oligofructose to be used in functional food. Chicory inulin can be extracted from the root and used as an ideal ingredient in functional foods. Using the chicory inulin in this manner can lead to a number of health benefits. The prices of inulin and oligofructose are directly associated with the prices of chicory. Some ups and downs in the prices of chicory affect the profit margin of prebiotic manufacturers.

Prebiotics are classified as disaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides and most commonly used prebiotics includes lactulose, mannan-oligosaccharide (MOS), inulin, soy Fructo-oligosaccharide(FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS). The global market for prebiotics in animal feed market was worth USD 213.9 million in 2012 in terms of revenue.

Poultry and cattle are the most lucrative markets for prebiotics in animal feed additive. Together they hold 60.8% of the market by volume in 2012. Poultry is the largest and most mature market which is expected to dominate for the next six years. However, cattle market is growing at the highest rate. The aquaculture segment occupied 7.8% in terms of volume of the global market in 2012, but is expected to lose market share in the future due to high proximity to aqua feed oxidation and deterioration.

The global prebiotics in animal feed market have a worldwide presence with many companies involved in the manufacturing of prebiotic animal feed. In terms of volume, Europe accounted for more than 40% of the overall market share in 2012 and it is expected to maintain its dominance for the next six years. This is driven by ban on usage of antibiotics in animal feed. Therefore, European consumers are regularly looking for better and new alternatives for antibiotics. Other geographical areas which have high consumption of prebiotics in animal feed are Asia Pacific and North America, which together accounted for 44% of the market in 2012. Rest of the World (RoW) is expected to increase its market share from 7.2% in 2012 to 7.4% in 2019.

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The market of prebiotics in animal feed is fragmented in nature and hence none has significant market share due to the existence of multiple brands worldwide. Some of the major market players are FrieslandCampina Domo, Beghin Meiji, Cargill Inc., Beneo-Orafti SA, Abbott Laboratories, Cargill Incorporated and others small players.

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