Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care: Making a Positive Difference in Animal Health and Performance

Published on Fri, 01/26/2018 - 9:04am

 Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care: Making a Positive Difference in Animal Health and Performance

 By Steve Weisman

There is an old adage “we are what we eat,” and scientific studies are bearing this statement out every day. As a result, consumers are becoming more health conscious and more knowledgeable about where their food comes from and how it has been grown and/or raised. In response, farmers and ranchers across the country are realizing the importance of the health of their cattle herds.  The questions then arise for cattle producers: To whom do we turn for answers? Who can we trust to help us raise the healthiest animals possible?

At the forefront of this agricultural movement is Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care (, the animal health and nutrition business unit of Lesaffre Yeast Corporation (LYC) located in France. Phileo-Lesaffre is a global expert in the field of yeast and yeast extract with a global presence in more than 70 countries with 16 production sites across the five continents.
With its U. S. headquarters in Milwaukee, WI and plants in Cedar Rapids, IA and Doltan, AL, Phileo-Lesaffre is committed to help provide America’s producers with evidence-based solutions that enhance animal health and performance. Years of study by the research and development team of microbiologists, engineers, nutritionists and veterinarians have proven that feeding animals a yeast supplement enhances many facets of animal’s performance:
Improvements in digestibility and bioavailability, for better feed conversion and performance.
Cost-effective nutritional alternatives, providing substitutes for unsustainable or limited feed sources.
Control of the risk associated with bacterial toxins and mycotoxins through binding and detoxification.
Enhancement of immune response and digestive health in preventive management.
Reduction of pathogen pressure to help limit the risk of antibiotic resistance.
Optimization of the physiological mechanisms against stress, to support animal well-being.

Yeast Propagation
Dr. Joe Ward, who is North American Project Manager, has been in the animal research and health business for over 30 years. He says the research and development team has spent years working to develop literally thousands of strains of yeast through yeast propagation and selection. “Our researchers and production teams grow live yeast tailored with a specific product use in mind to enhance animal health and performance. We grow live yeast, safely … without using any drugs or harmful additives. The end result is that animals are healthy, perform well and everything we produce is ecologically safe for the environment and safe for humans.”

A Series of Studies
Matt Cravey, Ph. D., PAS and head of the North American Beef Programs here in the United States has been a part of Phileo’s research efforts for the past several years. He has also been active in the animal health and nutrition field for 34 years. According to Cravey, research of both beef and dairy animals through the use of a variety of Phileo yeast strains continues to show science-based solutions that positively and safely enhance animal health and performance.  
Several studies deal with Phileo’s ActiSaf Sc 47, which is a specifically selected patented yeast strain of live yeast concentrate Saccharomyces cerevisiae.Sc 47. ActiSaf Sc47 HR+ is the thermostable form that is produced by a unique Lesaffre manufacturing process that ensures better stability. In turn more yeast cells reach the rumen or intestines alive. Actisaf has been found to improve growth rates by up to nine percent, increase dry matter intakes, improve feed conversion rates, improve carcass classification and reduce the risk of acidosis.
In a discussion of a recently completed university study, Cravey notes that two different groups of beef cattle were part of this study with one controlled group consuming diets supplemented with ActiSaf, while the other group was fed their regular feed without ActiSaf. “Results demonstrated that the rumen pH was significantly higher for the group with ActiSaf than the control group without supplemental ActiSaf. The buffering affect of our live yeast is due in part to an improved lactic acid utilization in the rumen. Essentially, ActiSaf is altering the rumen environment to enhance the preferred bacterial population improving feedstuff digestibility and improving animal performance.”
Cravey also discusses the positive results in two research studies that feature OptiSaf Beef, a proprietary concentrated blend of selected strains of live yeast. The first study took place in the Southeast using recently weaned calves that had been exposed to conditions that would be considered by industry standards to be at high-risk. “In this study, OptiSaf Beef improved calf weight gains by about 10 pounds per head over a 56-day period versus a similar group of calves that did not receive OptiSaf Beef. This 10-pound advantage held true throughout a subsequent 90-day grazing period. Additionally, the calves receiving the OptiSaf Beef had fewer second treatments indicating improved health.”
Another study conducted by Dr. Jeff Carroll at the USDA facility near Lubbock, TX, also showed positive results for a group of feedlot cattle under heat stress. The OptiSaf Beef fed cattle perform significantly better than the group of cattle not receiving OptiSaf Beef. Cravey says, “This study shows that OptiSaf Beef significantly reduced the negative effects of heat stress on beef cattle.”

Additionally, Cravey discusses a beef cow-calf study currently underway. “In this study, we fed OptiSaf Beef to cows about 30 days prior to calving and the results are very intriguing. Calves that were born from cows fed OptiSaf Beef are showing heavier body weights versus calves from cows that did not receive OptiSaf Beef. Final results are still pending, but we may be seeing the effects of an improved passive immune transfer and potentially an improvement in colostrum quality. We hope to have the study results completed and available by the end of the summer in 2018.”
Finally, Phileo recently initiated a feedlot study in the Midwest. OptiSaf Beef is being used for a study on relatively high-risk calves consuming high levels of distillers grains in their feedlot diet. After about a month into the study, it is already appearing that calves fed the OptiSaf Beef are consuming more feed than their counterparts that are not receiving this proprietary yeast product blend.

Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care, a business unit of Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, continues to invest its resources to conduct evidence-based research necessary to better understand the use of these non-antibiotic solutions to improve animal health and nutrition. “We are all in,” says Cravey. “Our passion is to find solutions to the health and nutrition challenges that face our animal industry. With over 160 years of yeast technology and knowledge, we are committed to discovering applications and uses of our branded products that not only improve animal well-being but also provide economic returns to the producers.”
Producers wanting to learn more about products can go to their local feed supplier and ask for Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care products by name or can contact the company through the website at