Research and product testing

Safesil – the result of Swedish research

Our preservative solutions were developed together with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and their efficacy has been demonstrated many times since. The products are tested on different crops with different dry matter contents and pushed to the limit under extremely poor ensiling conditions to prove their broad efficacy.

Studies on Safesil have been published in scientific journals such as the Journal of Dairy Science and Journal of Animal Science. As is customary for this type of journal, the articles underwent tough peer reviews in which the study set-up and interpretations of their results were thoroughly checked by other scientists before they were accepted for publication. The results have also been presented at major silage conferences such as the International Silage Conference, International Symposium Forage Conservation, The Nordic Feed Science Conference and the American Dairy Science Association. All of the studies demonstrated Safesil’s ability to produce stable silage with reduced losses.
In several studies, two of Sweden’s most prominent scientists in the field of ensiling, Rolf Spörndly and Martin Knicky (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) showed that Safesil reduces the number of clostridium spores and undesirable bacteria in several different crops and ley mixtures of red clover, timothy grass and meadow fescue. In wet silage (DM < 30%), where the risk of clostridium is greatest, Safesil reduced both clostridium and butyric acid. As a result of the reduced microbial activity, the DM losses were also lower in the Safesil-treated silage.
Limin Kung Jr. and his research team at Delaware University in the USA have studied Safesil for many years. Corn and alfalfa are the most common crops in North America. Kung has shown that Safesil Pro and Safesil Challenge quickly reduce undesirable micro-organisms such as yeast and enterobacteria during the ensilation of really wet alfalfa that has also been exposed to air to introduce further stress to the process. Corn is a crop that quickly breaks down before and during feeding, but Safesil provides both better feed stability and protection against overheating. Modern gene technology has shown that silage treated with Safesil contains fewer strains of yeast, which is probably the underlying reason for the good feed stability.
Marketta Rinne and her research team at the LUKE Natural Resources Institute Finland have shown that Safesil not only protects silage during ensiling but also that silage treated with Safesil before storage remains more stable all the way out to the feed mix.


“A5 [Safesil Pro] were found to have the greatest impact on the reduction of clostridia spores and butyric acid formation in low-DM silages, and yeast growth in high-DM silages.”
Knicky et al. 2009

“These experiments showed that Safesil can quickly reduce harmful microorganisms, such as yeasts and enterobacteria, in high-moisture alfalfa and that Safesil and Safesil Challenge can improve DM recovery in silage submitted to air stress.”
Benjamin da Silva et al. 2016

“We found that SSL [Safesil] increased the aerobic stability of corn silage under North American conditions. ”Treatment with SSL improved aerobic stability in corn silage ranging from 32 to 39% DM, and it was more effective than an additive containing buffered propionic acid and citric acid. Aerobic stability was also improved in corn silage treated with SSL and subjected to air stress during storage, whereas treatment with L. buchneri was ineffective, most likely because of the short period of ensiling.”
Kung Jr. et al. 2018

“Overall, adding 5 mL/kg of fresh crop of the additive based on sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate reduced undesirable microorganisms in silages and thereby provided suitable ensiling conditions and prolonged aerobic stability, even under air-challenged laboratory ensiling conditions.”
Knicky et al. 2015

“The application of a mixture of sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sodium nitrite considerably decreases clostridial growth in crops with DM contents <300 g/kg, as demonstrated by reduced ammonia N and butyric acid formation. In crops with DM contents >350 g/kg, the same additive mixture efficiently eliminated yeast activity in silages. The application of the additive mixture guarantees prolonged storage stability in a broad range of silages.”
Knicky et al. 2011

“The addition of the chemical additive containing sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sodium nitrite reduced the number of yeasts in HCM [high moisture corn] after 90 d of ensiling and thus the accumulation of ethanol during silage fermentation. Treatment with all levels of Safesil also resulted in higher DM recovered after ensiling and better stability when HMC was exposed to air. Application of Safesil could be an important tool to help improve the aerobic stability of HMC and recover more DM for feeding.”
Da Silva et al. 2015

“When silos were stored at 22°C, treatment with Safesil at 2 and 3 L/t increased (P < 0.01) aerobic stability in unstressed silos (185 and 236 h, respectively) compared with unstressed control silos (72 h).”
Savage et al. 2016

“When DM concentration of the grass material is relatively low additives were needed to ensure good fermentation quality of the silage. In addition, chemical additives were able to improve aerobic stability of both the silage and respective TMR.”
Seppälä et al. 2012



Benjamim da Silva, E., Savage, R. M., Biddle, A. S., Polukis, S. A., Smith, M. L., and Kung Jr. L., 2020. Effects of a chemical additive on the fermentation, microbial communities, and aerobic stability of corn silage with or without air stress during storage. J. Anim. Sci. 98: 1-11.

Benjamim da Silva, E., Savage, R. M., Polukis, S. A., Smith, M. L., Mester, R. N., Gray, A. M., and Kung Jr. L., 2017. M153Effects of a chemical additive on aerobic stability and fungal microbiome of corn silage. J. Anim. Sci. 61-62.

Benjamin da Silva, E. B., Savage, R. M., Smith, M. L., Polukis, S. A., Laubach, A. E., Pacer, K. M., and Kung, Jr. L. 2016. 0685 Effects of chemical additives on fermentation characteristics of high-moisture alfalfa silage. J. Anim. Sci. 94:327

Da Silva, T. C., Smith, M. L., Polukis, S. A., Barnard, A. M., and Kung Jr, L. 2014. 1078 (M095) Effect of a chemical additive on fermentation and aerobic stability of high-moisture corn. J. Anim. Sci. 536.

Da Silva, T. C., Smith, M. L., Barnard, A. M., and Kung Jr. L. 2015. The effect of a chemical additive on the fermentation and aerobic stability of high-moisture corn. J. Dairy Sci. 98:1–9.

Huuskonen, A., Rämö, S., and Pesonen, M. 2018. Effects of primary growth compared to regrowth grass silage on feed intake, growth performance and carcass traits of growing bulls. Agr Food Sci. 27: 232–242.

Huuskonen, A., Seppälä, A., and Rinne, M. 2017. Effects of silage additives on intake, live-weight gain and carcass traits of growing and finishing dairy bulls fed pre-wilted grass silage and barley grain-based ration. J. Agric. Sci. 155: 1342-52.

Knicky M., Wiberg, H-G., Eide, F., and Gertzell, B. 2014. Dynamics of gas formation during ensilage. Proceedings of the 5th Nordic Feed Science Conference.

Knicky, M., and Spörndly, R. 2009. Sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate and sodium nitrite as silage additives. J. Sci. Food Agric. 89:2659-67

Knicky, M., and Spörndly, R. 2010. The Efficiency of the Mixture of Sodium Nitrite, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate in Aerobically Unstable Silages. 14th International Symposium FORAGE CONSERVATION. 56-7.

Knicky, M., and Spörndly, R. 2011. The ensiling capability of a mixture of sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sodium nitrite. J. Dairy Sci. 94 :824–31.

Knicky, M., and Spörndly, R. 2015. Short communication: Use of a mixture of sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, and potassium sorbate in aerobically challenged silages. J. Dairy Sci. 98:1–6.

Kung Jr. L., Smith, M. L., Benjamin da Silva, E., Windle, M. C., Da Silva, T. C., and Polukis, S. A. 2018. An evaluation of the effectiveness of a chemical additive based on sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sodium nitrite on the fermentation and aerobic stability of corn silage J. Dairy Sci. 101:1–12.

Louka, R. 2010. Stability of high moisture maize grain ensiled with and without chemical additives. Res. Pig Breeding. 4:5–8.

Nadeau, E., Arnesson, A., and Auerbach, H. 2012. Effects of additive and particle size on fermentation characteristics and aerobic stability of grass silage. XVI International Symposium FORAGE CONSERVATION 2012. 380-381.

Rinne, M., Leppä, M. M., Kuoppala, K., Koivunen, E., Kahala, M., Jalava, T., Salminen, J-P., Manni, K., 2020. Fermentation quality of ensiled crimped faba beans using different additives with special attention to changes in bioactive compounds. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 265:

Savage, R. M., Benjamim da Silva, E., Smith, M. L., Polukis, S. A., Pacer, K. M., Laubach, A. E., Gray, A. M., and Kung Jr. L. 2016. 0684 The effects of air and heat stress on the aerobic stability of silage treated with a chemical additive. J. Anim. Sci. 94:327.

Seppälä, A., Heikkilä, T., Mäki, M., and Rinne, M. 2012. The aerobic stability of total mixed ration can be managed by silage additive. XVI International Silage Conference. 416-417.

Spörndly, R. 2010. Om tillsatsmedel i ensileringen. Djurhälso- & Utfodringskonferensen 2010.