Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of <em>Lactobacillus plantarum</em> (NCIMB 30236) as a silage additive for all species
Lactobacillus plantarum is a technological additive intended to improve the ensiling process at a proposed dose of 2.4 x 108 CFU/kg fresh material. The bacterial species L. plantarum is considered by EFSA to be suitable for the Qualified Presumption of Safety approach. As the identity of the strain has been clearly established and as no antibiotic resistance was detected, the use of the strain in the production of silage is considered safe for livestock species, consumers of products from animals fed the treated silage and for the environment. However, the proteinaceous nature of the active agents means that they have the potential to be a skin/respiratory sensitizer and risks for the user cannot be fully excluded. Seven studies with laboratory-scale silos are described, each lasting at least 100 days, made using samples of grass forage of differing water-soluble carbohydrate content and representing material easy to ensile, moderately difficult to ensile and difficult to ensile. In each case, replicate silos containing treated forage were compared to identical silos containing the same untreated forage at 20 ºC. The additive containing L. plantarum (NCIMB 30236) consistently showed the potential to improve the production of silage from easy, moderately difficult and difficult to ensile forage species by reducing the pH, increasing the preservation of dry matter and protein.