It is often remarked that a well-balanced diet based on wholesome ingredients rarely benefits from flavors and aromas, and a recent study has just reconfirmed this old adage.

In the French trial, three sensory feed additives (FA1, FA2, and FA3) were evaluated in terms of of feed preference, feed intake and growth of piglets post-weaning. The FA1 was based on Stevia rebaudiana, the FA2 was based on Citrus sinensis and the FA3 was based on extracts of hot-flavored spices. A number of data were collected pointing to the fact that feed supplementation with the FA1, FA2 and FA3 products did not induce beneficial effects on feed intake and growth performance during the early post-weaning period, with a slight exception being increased acceptance of the unfamiliar starter diet the day of feed transition.

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Perhaps, the basal diet did not need any palatability enhancement, or the selected products were not efficacious at the used dosage, but, overall, this study adds weight to the fact that flavors and aromas are not created equal, and if any are truly effective, this remains a trade secret.