Kemin’s New Probiotic Solution Promises to “Drive Intestinal Resilience” in Poultry – INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES

Source: Kemin Industries via Feedinfo

07 July 2022 – With reducing the use of antibiotics high on the poultry industry’s list of challenges, supporting the bird’s microbiome has become an increasingly popular strategy to improve bird health and productivity in the absence of these therapies.  

To help with the industry’s transition away from the prophylactic use of antibiotics and support farmers fulfilling the societal demands for environmentally and economically sustainable animal production, global feed additives maker, Kemin Industries is bringing ENTEROSURE™ to market. According to the company, this newly launched microbial solution combines three complementary strains of Bacillus bacteria that work together to promote, restore and maintain a healthy gut microbiome by inhibiting and managing the growth of undesired enteric pathogens in the gut, such as Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli.

In this Industry Perspectives, Feedinfo sits down with Kemin’s Group President for Animal Nutrition and Health, G.S. Ramesh, Regional Business Director, Matias Jansen, and Global Technical Services Manager for Intestinal Health, Susanne Kirwan to discuss the development of ENTEROSURE™ and how Kemin’s global presence benefitted this process. We also look at the product’s efficacy in addressing common intestinal health challenges in production birds and how this can impact bird performance and the efficiency and profitability of farmer operations.

[Feedinfo] Do you think the role that intestinal resilience can play in poultry productivity and the reduction of antibiotics is well understood by the industry?

G.S. Ramesh
Group President
Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health

[G.S. Ramesh] Intestinal resilience is an increasingly important component of animal protein production. As the industry worldwide continues to shift towards reduced antibiotic use, it is crucial that we change the way we address intestinal health challenges, from a curative approach to a preventive approach. By proactively increasing the animal’s intestinal resilience, through alternative solutions and strategies, we prepare them to face these challenges while safeguarding animal health, welfare, growth and performance. Our aim at Kemin is to prevent the issues facing the industries we serve, rather than react to them.

While increasingly more awareness is created around this topic, we do observe there is a continuous need to bridge the knowledge between industry and academics, as well as amongst the different industry stakeholders. This is especially true as we see these challenges require a complete feed/food chain approach (e.g., Salmonella). Moreover, producers all over the world are in different stages in this journey of antibiotic reduction and look towards their industry peers for vetted solutions.

At Kemin, we know there is always more to learn, and that both management and product innovation must never stop. Therefore, we are and have been increasingly focused towards addressing the intestinal health challenges our industry is facing through physical and digital gatherings such as the Kemin Intestinal Health Conference, the Kemin Intestinal Health Industry Summit and the Kemin Intestinal Health Symposium.


[Feedinfo] So let’s look at your most recent tool to help the industry further antibiotics reduction efforts, ENTEROSURE™. Can you tell us a bit more about how its development came about?

[G.S. Ramesh] The animal protein production industry is continuously faced with challenges. As previously mentioned, there is the continuous drive of the industry to reduce antibiotics to an absolute minimum. In addition, the recent disruptions driving feed costs lead to the use of several alternative feed ingredients. These, in turn, increase the digestive and pathogenic challenges for our animals.

In our conversations with producers, pathogenic bacterial challenges, such as Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli, the prevalence of other Enterobacteriaceae and the overall management of the microbiome have been highlighted as the most pressing challenges they have been observing. To face these challenges, we developed ENTEROSURE as a solution that drives intestinal resilience.


[Feedinfo] Why was your global approach to the research and development of ENTEROSURE™ such an asset? How did taking this approach translate into a better poultry gut health solution?

[G.S. Ramesh] Built on a legacy of scientific research, thorough testing and customer feedback, Kemin established a dedicated global research unit focused on the Animal Nutrition and Health industry to fully leverage the global strengths of the organisation. The purpose of this dedicated “Big R Unit” is to conduct discovery research that results in the creation and launch of new molecules and product solutions to address long-term and emerging industry needs. Specifically for the development of ENTEROSURE™, this global approach enabled us to benefit from the full international network for inputting potential research subjects, leverage the research strengths of each region throughout the research and development phase, and validate our findings in diverse settings across the globe.

More specifically, we were able to source potential effective probiotic strains from diverse geographies, use the in vitro and in vivo research expertise from various labs (both in house and externally) and test in diverse field and semi-field conditions. Perhaps even more important, the product has been designed and developed to address the customer needs across global markets. This has been made possible through the deep understanding of our customers’ needs in each geography and assimilating the learning through our commercial and technical teams.


[Feedinfo] Let’s look a little closer at the science. What did the process of finding ENTEROSURE™’s complementary Bacillus strains entail? What were some of the key challenges your team had to overcome in the process?

[Susanne Kirwan] The first challenge was forming a coordinated research approach over six continents with more than 50 collaborators from inside Kemin and our research partners outside. Natasja Smeets in her role as Kemin Project Leader Global Discovery Research led this effort. 

It all started about five years ago. At that time, we already had a patented Bacillus sp. strain (PB6) with a great track record, both in peer reviewed university studies as well as application in integrations from China across the Americas and in most countries in between. We knew it would be a challenge to discover, select and grow new strains which work in synergy to deliver a broad-spectrum action.

Susanne Kirwan
Global Technical Services Manager for Intestinal Health
Kemin Industries

The market is very clear in the need for the next generation of active microbials. Clostridial challenges have increased, and across the globe colibacillosis and salmonella are of increasing concern for poultry producers. In countries with strict antimicrobial regulation there is a great pressure to use new tools for managing these Enterobacteriaceae. But this pressure also exists in regions with more liberal antimicrobial regulations, as we typically see more antimicrobial resistance both in E. coli and Salmonella in those areas.

In our research we focussed on selecting strains that would be compatible both with our PB6 strain but also with the strict legal requirements of the European Union, various US regulations, and all other international standards. Broiler feed is also highly processed in most regions and contains a wide range of additives. Therefore, the strains also had to be compatible with, for example, coccidiostats and acidifiers, and be able to survive pelleting. They also had to answer a long list of other needs related to their practical use in commercial diets.


[Feedinfo] How effective is ENTEROSURE™ at addressing intestinal health challenges presented by the likes of Clostridium perfringens, E. coli & Salmonella? What findings can you share with us?

[Susanne Kirwan] We were targeting two unrelated groups of potential pathogens: gram positive clostridia and gram negative Enterobacteriaceae with specific interest in Salmonella and E. coli.

We knew from the onset that we would not be able to achieve this with fewer than two strains. E. coli strains, in particular, also differ between Europe and, for example, Southeast Asia. So, a strain selected in a single location might not work as well in another. Therefore, Kemin used its access to both laboratory and field strains of these pathogens in the selection criteria for the probiotic candidate strains. In the process of screening, it became very clear that the Bacillus strains with the highest E. coli activity had less efficacy on Salmonella, and vice versa. This resulted in the idea to equip the commercial product with three strains: one mainly for clostridia, a second mainly for E. coli (FXA) and a third (G3) for addressing Salmonella.

Of course, one of the major challenges in attempting something like this is that petri dishes do not have a microbiome and, therefore, lack the complex host interactions we see in live animals. So, from the onset we complemented our in vitro screenings with studies in broilers across different regions, because ultimately the product needed to be able to perform in a farm and not just in a lab.

[Feedinfo] And in terms of poultry performance and ROI? What can you share with us on the impact ENTEROSURE™ can have on the efficiency and profitability of farmer operations?

[Susanne Kirwan] Ten years ago, most producers had a choice between antimicrobial solutions and alternative preventative approaches to maintain health and productivity. Today the production landscape is much more challenging. We need to produce with increased disease challenges and, at the same time, reduce antimicrobial usage. So, if we can maintain both the survivability of the birds and production parameters, that is success.

Beta-testing of ENTEROSURE™ with our broiler, layer and breeder customers revealed the effect to be greater in the field than what we had seen under more controlled conditions with an ROI exceeding 4:1. For example, in our field trials across India, where open sided houses pose a greater challenge to bird health, we observed increases of about 4 points in FCR/kg and approximately 50g in body weight. We are therefore confident that farm profitability will benefit from ENTEROSURE

But there is more to profitability than just FCR and extra body weight. By managing Enterobacteriaceae, we anticipate a reduced need to treat with antibiotics bringing additional economic benefit, independent of whether farms are integrated, buy feed from a feed mill or use a business model that falls somewhere in between. Our microbiome studies (submitted for publication) indicate that ENTEROSURE increases intestinal resilience, meaning the flocks are in a better position to digest their diets (evident in the effects on FCR and body weight) and face less risk for disease outbreaks compared to traditional antimicrobial strategies which reduced resilience.


[Feedinfo] How has Kemin committed itself to supporting its customers in the correct application of ENTEROSURE™ to help them realise these benefits in their operations?

Matias Jansen
Regional Business Director
Kemin Biologics 

[Matias Jansen] To manage the ever-evolving challenges, we offer the industry a full solution approach. This entails a successful combination of nutritional ingredients, but also analytical services and technical support. Kemin has been and continues to be a proactive leader within the intestinal health space and offers one of the most comprehensive portfolios of high quality and science-based services and solutions to fuel the potential of animals. Our nutritional ingredients proactively address bacterial, viral, parasitic, as well as toxic challenges. We have a specialised technical service team that is experienced in making tailored preventive strategies. 

They visit farms in cooperation with responsible stakeholders, and together make complete assessments of the health status of the farm and its management. Based on these results they design a preventive strategy that leverages our portfolio of organic acids, probiotics, essential oils, natural alternatives, anticoccidials, and more. Plus, our team is equipped and experienced with rapid on-site diagnostics for all kinds of pathogens and, should further evaluation be needed, can rely on our Customer Service lab where we can perform several analyses and our large network of external labs.

Our combined approach of analytical tools, technical expertise, and comprehensive portfolio enables us to offer a complete preventive and profitable strategy. In this way, we strengthen animals and foster a healthy and sustainable business for our customers.


[Feedinfo] What can we look forward to next in terms of Kemin’s Intestinal Health portfolio?

[Matias Jansen] Our immediate focus with ENTEROSURE™ is to serve the Southeast Asia, South Asia, Korea and Middle East poultry industry. Meanwhile, we are completing the registration processes in South Africa, South America and Europe. At the same time, we are also further expanding our studies for its application in swine, with an initial focus on the North American market.

Our research and innovation, however, never stops. We continue to drive innovation through our probiotic research programme and continue to strive to sustainably transform the quality of life every day for 80 percent of the world with our products and services.


Published in association with Kemin Industries