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Feed expo attracts many, but shows few novelties

The 2011 International Feed Expo (Expo), organised by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) in conjunction with the US Poultry & Egg Association's International Poultry Expo, attracted more than 20,000 visitors this year. The event featured a series of speakers and educational programs, and more than 900 exhibitors displayed the latest in products and technologies that are beneficial to the feed, pet food and poultry industries. However, very few new products or services were to be found.

 
By Dick Ziggers
 
 
 
According to the Expo management visitors came from over 100 different countries. “This year’s Expo offered attendees a range of substantive programming and events to make their time in Atlanta as compelling as possible, on top of the hundreds of exhibits on the show floor,” said Joel G. Newman, AFIA president and CEO.Conference attendees received regulatory and legislative updates from industry leaders and key federal decision-makers as well as gained knowledge and insight during the Expo and related educational programs.
 
Feed regulators meet industry
The International Feed Regulators (IFR) took the opportunity to hold their fourth annual meeting prior to the Feed Expo to promote discussion on international feed regulations and its impact. Presented in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Feed Industry Federation (IFIF), IFR offers the opportunity for industry leaders and regulators to convene over topics relative to the feed and feed ingredient industries. Over 70 delegates from more than 20 countries attended the two-day event, held in Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center.
 
 
 
In addition to industry representatives sharing knowledge and exchanging information, experts held workshops and presentations on topics vital to the feed industry, including the Inter-governmental codex task force on animal feeding, risk assessment and management tools, the IFIF feed regulatory comparison report and emergency notification systems for the feed industry.
 
“Presentations by both regulators and feed industry representatives provided background and examples of current practices, and challenged participants to consider ways to improve regulatory and risk-management systems,” said Dr. Dave Cieslak, IFIF chairman. IFR presents a rare opportunity for feed and ingredient manufacturers and regulators across the globe to share information on standards and actions affecting the worldwide industry. This exchange of information is vital in an increasingly global feed industry.
 
Exhibition less important
The International Feed Expo is part of the International Poultry Expo and with about 20% of exhibition space it covers only a small part of the total exhibition. Stands are relatively small and just a few companies displayed their main feed manufacturing equipment, of which the Chinese companies Muyang and Zhengchang were clearly visible. In addition, California Pellet Mill had a larger display.Visitors were attracted with conferences and seminars, which were held before and during show hours. The displays were intended for companies to meet their customers. Very few novelties were to be seen.
 
New enzyme product
The only real launch in the feed area was a new enzyme combination from Dansico, intended for corn-soybean diets with additional DDGS content. The product, called Axtra xap, consists of a blend of fibre degrading xylanase, starch degrading amylase and protein degrading protease enzymes. It is the first product in a new brand of enzymes from Danisco.
 
Especially broiler producers are under pressure to maximise value from their feed and minimise feed costs. The availability and price of higher fibre raw materials such as DDGS and wheat middlings has encouraged higher inclusion in broiler feeds. Consequently diets are becoming more complex and challenging to formulate for optimal performance. “Although feed enzyme technology is an attractive solution to this challenge, until now no product has been designed specifically to combat the challenges posed by modern diets, such as increased levels of arabinoxylans in dietary fibre,” said Gary Partridge, global director for technical services at Danisco. “When including 10% DDGS the level of arabinoxylans increases by 25%.”
 
With that in mind, the industry would require a feed enzyme solution that delivers efficacy and cost savings in feeds that already contain phytase, which already is an industry standard. As a result Axtra xap was developed. This new generation multi-enzyme is based on three optimised enzyme activities: AAFCO-listed Amylase with Xylanase and Protease. Danisco claims a heat stability of up to 95°C (203°F) and the product is easily incorporated into diets containing its phytase product Phyzyme XP TPT. When used in this combination the company claims net feed costs savings of around $18 per tonne ($11 from Phyzyme and $7 from Axtra xap). Flexibility in diet formulation is increased allowing safely value-added inclusion of up to 12% DDGS in broiler feed. The product is especially intended for the US market and registered as such. Further registration in other parts of the world is in progress.
 
Feed ingredients from Canada
Also active in enzymes is Jefo. This Canadian company also has a protease in its portfolio for better
digesting of proteinaceous ingredients. “However, the Canadian Food Inspection Authority is very strict in controlling feed ingredients. No claims are allowed, so that is why our leaflets contain minimal information on the products,” says Robert Gauthier, vice-president R&D at Jefo and a veterinarian with extensive experience in both swine and poultry production and nutrition. He explains that Jefo is an abbreviation of the name of the founder Jean Fontaine, who started the company in 1982. It is still privately owned and started as a trading company in commodities. In the early nineties key partners came on board, among others Vetagro from Italy, whose speciality is micro-encapsulation. From then Jefo started to produce specific ingredients, also resulting in an office in Europe in Nantes, France. Volumes increased which justified the building of a production plant in Saint Hyacinthe in Quebec, Canada.
 
Jefo’s protease research started 12 years ago. The process for registration as a feed enzyme is ongoing. “This product can save six to eight dollars per tonne of feed in a North American corn-soy diet,” Gauthier adds. Jefo’s objective is not only to optimise amino acid digestion, but also to look at digestion at peptide level. With classic raw materials becoming more expensive Gauthier expects that in the future a more European approach in formulating will be followed that is also more to the point and more risk taking.
 
In 1999, Jefo also started with selling organic acids in poultry. “Before that we were already marketing organic acids in pigs, but we had to start from scratch with poultry, because it didn’t work as in pigs,” Gauthier says. To be able to make their own animal specific products the company has built its own research facilities. Through its International Animal Nutrition Research Centre (IANRC), the company makes its research facilities available to universities, technical schools, the animal feed industry, private and public corporations, and pig and poultry producers.
 
The IANRC is headed by Gauthier. The centre’s facilities includes pig research farms (32 pens of 12 weaning piglets each, 32 pens of 12 growing/finishing pigs each) and poultry research farms with 56 battery cages for broilers, 64 and 48 floor pens for broilers and 100 battery cages for commercial layers.
 
“Obviously we only do applied research, because we are a commercial company. We define only products that are needed in the market,” Gauthier says. “When we hit the market we know what we are doing, because the products are tested under semi-practice conditions on quality, reliability and efficacy. Besides that we determine a reasonable price to it.”
 
Food safety
Gauthier also explains that research on food safety is carried out from an animal perspective. “This means that we strive for animals coming to the slaughterhouse with less salmonella and if positives are found that these are fewer in numbers.” Gauthier also emphasises that salmonella free is impossible. In the project, the meat safety chair at the School of Veterinary medicine of the University of Montreal is participating with representatives of the processing industry.
 
Kemin celebration
Ingredient manufacturer Kemin celebrated its 50th anniversary at IFE in style with a pianist playing at their stand and all employees dressed in black with golden ties. The company also held its 5th annual Poultry Summit on feed safety. Richard Sellers, vice president of feed regulation and nutrition of the American Feed Industry Association, elaborated on the new 112-page feed safety Bill of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which would require the hiring of 4,000 new employees to be able to execute the Bill. This seems very unlikely to happen, but FDA intends to have audited all high risk feed facilities within five years and all low risk facilities within seven years.Regarding salmonella Sellers said that mash feeds are at greater risk than pelleted feeds. Also high protein meals are at risk, especially when the seed coat is broken. “Look at your suppliers and ask for test results prior to the ingredients arriving at your mill,” Sellers said. “And don’t look at them as a cost basis.” He also said about testing: “Be careful what you test. And when you are testing the ingredients, you need to be prepared and have a plan for a negative result.”
 
 
 
More celebrations
Novus International also took advantage of the occasion to use IFE as a place for celebrating. “Innovation with Integrity” served as the theme for the 20thanniversary of the company.
“This theme has been a central attribute of Novus’ culture from the beginning. Our heritage has been built on developing innovative, science-based health through nutrition products for livestock, pets and people,” explained Thad Simons, President and Chief Executive Officer of Novus. “We are very proud of our global network of employees, customers and partnerships and excited to embark on a year of celebration with the many people who support our continued growth and success.”
 
The company was founded in 1991, and today, has employees working in over 90 countries, serving more than 3,000 customers worldwide. Novus has facilities including corporate offices, research and development laboratories, and manufacturing operations in more than 35 countries, as well as offices with field staff in an additional 60 countries.Novus has planned a number of activities throughout the year to commemorate its 20th anniversary, including customer appreciation dinners across the globe, VIP tradeshow events, special customer recognition activities and a gala celebration at the global headquarters on June 16, 2011. Although founded in 1991, Novus’ scientific roots and history originated more than 50 years ago when it was incorporated in Monsanto. In 1991, in an effort to focus on its core businesses - seed, herbicide and biotechnology - Monsanto sold its Feed Ingredients division to Mitsui and Nippon Soda.
 
 

Dick Ziggers

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