Danisco Animal Nutrition & Health, part of IFF, has been among the pioneers in feed additives such as enzymes which make it possible to formulate diets low in protein or free of inorganic feed phosphates (IFP). In today’s Industry Perspectives piece, we hear from Dr. Arno de Kreij, Marketing Director for Asia-Pacific about the work IFF is doing in helping growers in this part of the world understand the why’s and how’s of efficient nutrient strategies.
[Feedinfo] Why is the question of better nutrient management particularly pertinent right now?
[Dr. Arno de Kreij] Economic and sustainability concerns continue to drive fundamental changes in the way diets are formulated in the livestock industry. Escalating raw material costs, regulatory pressure to reduce carbon emissions, and growing consumer demand for greater sustainability are major issues. Restrictions on antibiotic growth promoters are also in place in a growing number of countries across the region and, even where they are allowed, animal producers are very aware of consumer preference for antibiotic-free meat. All of which raises the question of whether it’s possible to meet these demands and still maintain performance and profitability.
We’re helping the industry address these concerns by looking into multiple focus areas, such as reducing inorganic phosphorus and crude protein while also increasing the use of locally sourced raw materials.
[Feedinfo] How much interest are you actually seeing in these concepts from Asia-Pacific markets?
[Dr. Arno de Kreij] Although the focus can vary between countries according to individual regulations, we’re seeing strong interest across all ASPAC markets. Every producer is facing ongoing disruption, whether due to war in major grain exporting countries or the effects of climate change, so reducing costs remains a common goal regardless of their location.
In fact, such is the level of demand that we’re focusing on the topic of feed formulation challenges at this year’s VIV Asia, organizing two seminars and participating in three others during the conference, which takes place in Bangkok from 8 to 10 March 2023. These seminars include:
- The benefits of inorganic phosphate free feed formulation and application of phytase full matrix, presented by Dr. Yueming Dersjant-Li and Fajrin Sidiq, and
- Improve your feed cost and sustainability with better nutrient management, presented by Dr. Amir E. Ghane and Julien Kanarek.
More details including the date, time, location, and content of each seminar is available here.
[Feedinfo] What are some considerations when formulating low protein diets (and, presumably, using alternative ingredients to partially replace soy)? What kinds of strategies can ensure such a change is successful?
[Dr. Arno de Kreij] Feed costs make up between 65% and 78% of total operational costs, depending on the species and type of operation, so cost efficiency is key. Customers may look at the quality and variability of ingredients and, in some cases, consider using cheaper options at a higher inclusion rate. But this brings several challenges such as lower digestibility or higher levels of antinutritional factors.
That’s why we recommend taking a nutribiotic approach, where the interaction between nutrition, gut and immune function, and the microbiome is taken into account to help producers make better decisions about feed additive use. In practice, it means animal producers can partially overcome current challenges by adopting lower protein diets combined with optimized dosing of phytase and non-phytase enzymes, without negatively impacting animal welfare or performance.
[Feedinfo] Switching gears, can you give a little bit of background about inorganic phosphate-free formulation as a concept?
[Dr. Arno de Kreij] Several studies have demonstrated that our highly bio-efficacious phytase enzyme, Axtra® PHY GOLD, can successfully replace inorganic phosphorus supplementation from day one in all-vegetable diets while maintaining bone mineralization for broilers, piglets, and fattening pigs - provided there is sufficient phytate in the diets. These findings effectively remove one of the main barriers to its adoption and signals huge potential benefits for producers. Being able to raise animals without inorganic phosphate will reduce phosphorus excretions and help to improve the sustainability of production systems.
[Feedinfo] What are some of the reformulation requirements for the complete removal of inorganic P? How can a customized phytase matrix assist in doing so?
[Dr. Arno de Kreij] This requires a highly efficient phytase capable of breaking down phytate as quickly as possible in order to reduce its negative impact, such as our phytase enzyme Axtra® PHY GOLD. It’s also essential to ensure there’s sufficient phytate phosphorus in the diet to meet the requirements of the animals, as well as a proper phytase dosing strategy to release the required phosphorus. Interestingly, although our initial broiler studies at Texas A&M University used relatively high phytate levels of 0.33%, ongoing work shows that less phytate can be sufficient to maintain performance, particularly in finisher phases.
[Feedinfo] Can you give any examples of producers in this region successfully employing these strategies (either for optimizing dietary protein levels or inorganic P usage?)
[Dr. Arno de Kreij] Interest in lower protein diets that can maintain healthy performance is extremely high across the ASPAC region. We’re helping nutritionists push the boundaries of what they thought possible and are pleased to report successful initial adoption of our strategies.
[Feedinfo] Beyond these two issues, what are some of the other concerns which are top of mind for producers in Asia-Pacific right now? Are these issues that feed additives, new formulation concepts, or other nutritional tools can help with?
[Dr. Arno de Kreij] From African Swine Fever and Avian Influenza, to escalating raw material costs and climate change related weather events, the list of challenges facing the industry goes on. Our role is to actively support producers with novel insights and products that help to address some, if not all, of these issues. After more than forty years as a trusted industry partner, we remain fully committed to our customers.
Published in association with Danisco Animal Nutrition & Health