A little more than 3 years after Kemin launched its first rumen-protected methionine product, KESSENT® M in the EMENA region, the company is now gearing up to replace it with a newer version that supports its refreshed commitment to sustainable encapsulation solutions and innovation for the global ruminant market.
In this Industry Perspectives, we are joined by Stefaan Van Dyck, President of Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health EMENA, and Javier Mateos, Global Business Development Leader for Rumen Essentialities, for an in-depth look at what exactly defines Kemin’s ruminant strategy and how the new solution, KESSENT® Me, supports this. We’ll also address the exact changes made to the product and how this has resulted in a solution that meets the changing needs of customers and market demands.
We also quickly check in with Mr Van Dyk on his recent appointment as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Feed LCA Institute and what can be expected from his leadership over the next two years.
[Feedinfo] What is Kemin's recent global strategy for strengthening their position in ruminant health, and how have you pursued it? What has been the approach?
[Javier Mateos] As part of this strategy, we have made significant investments recently, including hiring new experts in the field, focusing on greater innovation, and strengthening our expertise and production capacity in encapsulation technology. In doing so, we have been able to consistently deliver high quality rumen-protected products, providing precise, efficient, and profitable formulations for ruminant nutrition.
After 15 years of dedicated work, we are proud to be at the forefront of innovation and sustainable encapsulation solutions for the global ruminant market. This commitment to innovation and sustainability has allowed us to stay ahead of the curve and continues to provide high-quality solutions to our customers.
[Feedinfo] Let’s talk about the recent expansion of your encapsulation production site in Cavriago, Italy. Can you talk about some of the planned projects at the site that support this global strategy for ruminants.
[Stefaan Van Dyck] The new facilities in Cavriago are a clear answer to our global strategy. They will help us drive future innovation and enable the development of new products by expanding our current production plants, research facilities and pilot plants, and adding new industrial production units. One of these production units uses state-of-the-art GEM technology for CholiGEM™ (our rumen bypass choline supplement) manufacturing, and the others are dedicated to manufacturing the KESSENT® product range and our novel palm oil-free product variants which will be introduced to the market soon.
[Feedinfo] Talking about the KESSENT range, you recently launched KESSENT® Me, an upgraded version of your rumen-protected methionine product, KESSENT® M, which hit the EMENA market in 2019. Seeing that it’s only been a little more than 3 years since that launch, what prompted the need for a new version so soon?
[Javier Mateos] Kemin is continually seeking the development of new products, but also the continuous improvement of existing products in order to meet the demands and needs of the market.
In this search, respect for the environment is always present. Through KESSENT® Me, we are aiming to answer this call to be more environmentally conscious while continuing to excel in ruminant nutrition and meeting the changing needs of customers and market demands.
KESSENT Me's unique formulation delivers a high metabolizable methionine per kilogramme of product, reducing the mean rumen retention time and increasing the passage rate in the rumen. This increases the rumen protection rate of the methionine contained in the product and will improve the effectiveness of the formulation.
On top of this, KESSENT Me is also a more sustainable product. Not only does the solution have an improved Life Cycle Assessment score (CO2-equivalent per kilogramme of rumen-protected methionine used in the formulation), its new coating is from a natural renewable source, which is a vast improvement on the old version which was petrochemical based. It is also biodegradable under environmental conditions and the biopolymer used in the formulation helps reduce the problem of microplastics being released into the environment.
KESSENT Me is also better in terms of stability. While KESSENT M was a great solution for stability in premixes or total mixed animal ration, KESSENT Me takes it further, guaranteeing stability under adverse or stressful conditions. In fact, it guarantees stability by ensuring animals receive the same amount of metabolizable methionine regardless of farm or factory conditions. On top of this, efficacy improves as we see better stability results with even more consistency, better prediction and performance.
Kemin's focus on sustainability and innovation makes KESSENT Me a key solution for cost-effective and sustainable animal production. It, together with our rumen-protected lysine solution, LysiGEM™, aims to address the current and future needs of the ruminant market while reinforcing Kemin’s position as a strategic partner in the industry.
[Feedinfo] What has been the initial feedback from your customers about KESSENT Me? How has it been received by the market?
[Stefaan Van Dyck] Many of our customers have projects ongoing in the field of sustainability and are looking to their suppliers to offer new solutions for their end users and reduce scope 3 emissions in their production chain. KESSENT Me tackles both these customer demands in one go. Not only does the product have a reduced total carbon footprint compared to the previous iteration, it also moves away from a petrochemical coating material to a natural and renewable one.
Although our initial aim was not to improve the product, we have received very good feedback from the customers that made the switch, noting very consistent, and comparable or even better performance than KESSENT M.
[Feedinfo] Let’s look at Kemin's partnership with the Global Feed LCA Institute – which you joined in 2022. What are the organisation’s aims and how has this already added value to Kemin’s animal nutrition business and for its customers?
[Stefaan Van Dyck] GFLI is an independent animal nutrition and food industry non-profit institute with the purpose of:
- developing a publicly available Animal Nutrition Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) database;
- supporting the meaningful environmental assessment of animal nutrition products; and
- stimulating continuous improvement.
The ultimate goal is to have the GFLI database recognised as the global reference for Feed LCA Data by the public and private sectors.
Overall, animal feed production contributes to more than 45% of the total carbon footprint of livestock production globally. Kemin wanted to be involved in the charge to reduce this. Our active involvement in the GFLI Board and technical committee allows our team members to continuously be abreast of what is happening in the sustainability space in our industry. We are convinced that the GFLI database will allow the feed, livestock and aquaculture sectors to use data that is based on a harmonised methodology, calculate the environmental footprint of animal nutrition products in a transparent and trustworthy manner, and benchmark and make meaningful comparisons.
If this can be achieved, it will be possible to produce feed with a lower footprint/tonne and, thus, food products with a lower footprint/kg (meat/farmed fish/milk/cheese/egg).
[Feedinfo] Mr Van Dyck, what will your recent appointment as Chair of GFLI’s Board of Directors mean for the organisation? What can we expect from your leadership over the next two years?
[Stefaan Van Dyck] Initially most GFLI members were feed industry federations and feed companies. Recently also more members have joined from other areas in the feed production chain, such as feed additive producers. Members that join realise how important it is to work with transparent and reliable data, and also the risk of not having “centralised data” but rather relying on numerous LCA databases. As a non-profit organisation, GFLI could become that ‘one-stop shop’ for LCA data.
The success, of course, depends on the amount of data that resides in the database. Therefore, I believe it is key for GFLI leadership to continue communicating about the activities of GFLI and the database. That includes prioritising the formation of stronger connections with research institutes and universities that would use and also generate LCA data to complete the database. We also try to actively take part in symposia and conferences across the globe, particularly in those areas that are less represented in the database. This is often at the earlier stages of the sustainability journey, which presents us with the perfect opportunity to raise awareness for the need of a central data repository that is fully compliant with the global standards of FAO-LEAP and the European PEFCR.
Furthermore, we also aim to have more ‘data-in’ projects with our members and other partners. To facilitate this, we have the first ‘branded’ data that will be added to the database, which, of course, will also be fully GFLI compliant. We are confident that the commercial value of branded data will also motivate our members to invest more in branded as well as generic LCA data to further strengthen the database and its value.
Published in association with Kemin Animal Nutrition & Health