A year ago, macro-mineral specialist Phosphea introduced what it called a “breakthrough innovation” in the feed phosphates category: HumIPHORA, a calcium humophosphate which helps to control calcium release in the gut and prevent the mineral from becoming an anti-nutritional factor. Today, Caroline Biard, Marketing and Innovation Director for Phosphea joins us to talk about how the product has gone on to perform in the field, supporting performance in lower-phosphate diets and reducing feed conversion ratios in the process.
[Feedinfo] HumIPHORA was first brought to the animal nutrition industry last year, with a launch in the European broiler sector. One year on, what can you say about that experience? What kind of an impact has the product had?
[Caroline Biard] We are really happy about this development! In one year we have almost 30 field trials engaged in Europe. Their results confirm the efficiency of the product, meaning a maintenance of animal performance even with a reduction of phosphate incorporation (down by as much as 15% versus a formulation with MCP or 42% versus a formulation with DCP). We also observed a downward trend in the feed conversion ratio (FCR), which decreased up to 6%, and a reduction of phosphorus release in the litter.
HumIPHORA has been used in different field condition (breed, phytase source and level, countries) and really supports the industry as it seeks to maximise precision nutrition. And finally, customers who are now buying this new solution definitely optimize their formulation cost.
We continue to introduce HumIPHORA in new markets in Europe, such as in Spain where we now also manufacture HumIPHORA and work in partnership with premixers. Incidentally, we received an award — “Mejora tecnica” which is a recognition of the technical improvement this product brings to the market— during last month’s FIGAN, an international animal production trade show in Zaragoza.
[Feedinfo] Later this year, you are planning to bring the product to Brazil. What are the latest developments on that project?
[Caroline Biard] We introduced the calcium-humophosphate to Brazilian customers some weeks ago and the first container is arriving in April. Indeed, HumIPHORA has caught the attention of broiler integrators who are willing to test the product in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we will conduct a digestibility study with a local university to adjust the HumIPHORA matrix to a local feed formulation. It is important to give the right figures in this matrix for specific ingredients to meet animal requirements. When it comes to precision nutrition, we have to take into account ingredient properties, nutrient interaction and biochemical composition of the gut. Therefore, at Phosphea, we are still conducting a significant amount of research on the product. As an example, in 2023, we are assessing the digestibility of HumIPHORA in different conditions with variations in phytic acid content, phytase level, calcium level or raw materials. The results will allow us to optimize HumIPHORA incorporation.
[Feedinfo] Phosphea claims that HumIPHORA can allow for a reduction in P release in the litter. What are some of the markets which are showing the most interest in combatting discharge of phosphorus into the environment? How is this informing your decision of which markets to prioritise?
[Caroline Biard] Today, phosphorus release in the environment is a huge concern in Europe; nevertheless, only few countries have taken action at animal nutrition scale. Consequently, in the poultry industry, the fact that HumIPHORA allows to decrease phosphorus release in the litter is an advantage but not mandatory. However, it does mean that the swine industry, which is more proactive on this subject, is a potential market for this product going forward.
[Feedinfo] On that note, it is also a priority for you to expand HumIPHORA into other applications and species, including layers, swine and aqua diets. Where are you at in terms of trials for those different applications? When might you begin marketing the product to those markets?
[Caroline Biard] For sure, developing HumIPHORA for other species is the next logical step for 2 reasons: first, having such promising field results in broilers, where the product has been able to help our customers save money and boost their competitiveness, encourages us to adapt the solution for others. Second, our main customers are multi-species feed manufacturers, and it is important to meet their logistic considerations such as having only one phosphate for several application.
We have already started field trials in layer and broiler breeders, with good results on eggshell and feather quality accompanying a significant decrease of phosphate incorporation as mentioned above. HumIPHORA has also been used in turkeys; production went well and the results on phosphorus in the litter were very interesting. We will consolidate these data in 2023. We will also start field trials in swine, where the sector is demanding, especially due to competitivity and environmental concerns. Today, initial trials with IRTA in Spain confirms that HumIPHORA allows for a reduction of phosphate incorporation for growing pigs.
[Feedinfo] Is there anything else that’s important to understanding HumIPHORA’s first year on the market and what’s ahead for this product?
[Caroline Biard] HumIPHORA’s first year demonstrated that it is possible to innovate in the phosphate industry, with truly new developments such as an organic mineral solution. And I really must stress that word “solution,” because with HumIPHORA, Phosphea is not only supplying phosphorus for feed production, but is supporting the animal feed industry in its current challenges. During exhibitions including Eurotier in Hanover, IPPE in Atlanta, or VIV Asia in Bangkok, we fielded questions from many expert nutritionists about our trial results and the modes of action of the product, and received feedback which helps shape our thinking about further trials and future research directions. We are thankful for that, and are confident that HumIPHORA has a bright future!
Published in association with Phosphea