Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of <em>Lactobacillus plantarum</em> (NCIMB 40027) as a silage additive for all animal species
The strain of Lactobacillus plantarum is intended to improve the ensiling process at proposed doses ranging from 1 x 108 to 1 x 109 CFU/kg fresh material. This speciesis considered by EFSA to be suitable for the qualified presumption of safety approach to safety assessment. As the identity of the strain has been established and as no antibiotic resistance of concern was detected, the use of the strain in the production of silage is presumed safe for livestock species, for consumers of products from animals fed the treated silage and for the environment. The active agent is not an eye or skin irritant or a skin sensitiser. Given the proteinaceous nature of the active agent and the high dusting potential of the product tested, the FEEDAP Panel considers it prudent to treat this additive as a respiratory sensitiser. A total of 20 laboratory-scale ensiling studies were conducted with L. plantarum applied at 1 x 109 or 1 x 108 CFU/kg forage. In all the studies, forage containing the additive was compared with untreated control materials, and the duration of the studies was at least 90 days. L. plantarum has the potential to improve the production of silage by increasing lactic acid content and the preservation of dry matter, by reducing the pH and protein degradation. This was demonstrated in a range of easy and moderately difficult to ensile forage materials at a minimum concentration of 1 x 108 CFU/kg fresh material and also in difficult to ensile forage materials when added at a concentration of 1 x 109 CFU/kg fresh material.