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News 399 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Alltech finishes 20th Asia-Pacific Lecture Tour

Alltech Australia hosted over 70 attendees, who listened to presentations on a variety of topics including animal nutrition and changes that must be focused on – today and for the future – to achieve performance and profitability.

Total attendance at the 23 stops of Alltech's 20th Asia-Pacific Lecture Tour was over 2,500. This year also coincides with Alltech's 10 year anniversary of business in Australia.

The theme of this year's tour, "Feeding the Gene for Performance and Profitability", embraces the role of gene expression in maximising physical performance and encourages today's nutritionist to think outside of just energy and protein when formulating for the most profitable feeding programs.

Presentations were given by three leading Alltech researchers and the President of Alltech, Dr Pearse Lyons. Together, they addressed issues facing the Asia-Pacific region, including how to utilise more by-products in animal feedstuffs, given the increased raw material costs and decreased supply of grain and proteins.

Nutrigenomics and gene expression
Dr. Richard Murphy, Research Manager from Alltech's European Biosciences Centre, Ireland discussed the role of nutrigenomics – a powerful tool that will allow us to uncover hidden effects of nutrition and develop diagnostic tools to define nutritional status. This new field is also expected to aid in product development and help to customise diets to meet nutrient needs.

Dr. Murphy also outlined the impact of DNA microarray technology and its capacity to evaluate thousands of genes, showing which are up or down regulated or unchanged. He showed how with Sel-Plex® we see three key changes: enhanced antioxidant status, reduced cellular stress and overall improved cell performance. Dr Murphy spoke about how these relate to improvements in fertility, nutrient metabolism and immune status.

Glycomics and gut health
Dr. Colm Moran, Alltech's North American Biosciences Centre, looked at the science of glycomics and the relationship between the structure of complex carbohydrates and their functional properties in the host animal. He detailed how glycomics has provided us with the ability to maximise performance through optimisation of gut health.

Dr. Moran presented data showing that nutritional intervention with a functional glycoprotein (Bio-Mos®) can confer disease resistance to the host through pathogen adsorption, immune modulation and favourable gene expression changes.

He also discussed the issue of mycotoxins and how the addition of a beta 1,3 -1,6 glucan (Mycosorb®) to the diet can help to reduce the effects of a challenge from a broad spectrum of mycotoxins and enhance productivity.

Added value of enzymes
Dr. Keith Filer, Research Manager at Alltech's Asia-Pacific Biosciences Centre, Thailand discussed how enzymes produced through solid state fermentation and their role in the utilisation particularly of alternative raw materials. He called on the industry to look at versatility in feed formulation, thus allowing increased use of by-products (particularly cereal and starch materials) such as wheat bran, rice bran and DDGS.

Dr. Filer showed how solid state fermentation technology and Allzyme SSF® can allow increased use of these by-products to be used in the feed, which simultaneously reduces variability between batches through improved digestibility, predominantly of the fibre component.  Palm kernel cake, cassava and copra meal form part of the extensive research programme underway at the Biosciences Centre.

Food or fuel debate
Dr. Pearse Lyons, President of Alltech, concluded the Australian stop with an inspirational talk about the road ahead for the food, fuel and feed industries. He urged audiences to create the future by using powerful technology such as nutrigenomics, glycomics and solid state fermentation.

Dr. Lyons challenged attendees to think about the current and inevitable future grain shortage the world is facing. While this reality is compounded by the current drought in Australia, it is more importantly affected by the growth in the ethanol industry, which will consume 15% (300 MT) of the total world's production. "Given that energy and protein are limited, we need to look at alternatives while also using grains more efficiently. With consumption outstripping supply - how are we going to feed the world's population?" asked Dr. Lyons.

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