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Victam Asia grows in professionalism

Victam Asia, Fiaap Asia and Grapas Asia saw a promising start unaffected by bombing incidents which were seen elsewhere in Bangkok on the Tuesday before the show began. Visitors have become more professional and as such expect exhibitors to bring their latest developments to the show.

 Yukol Limlamthong, permanent secretary of the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, took the honour of opening the Victam, Fiaap and Grapas Asia at the Bitec Exhibition Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, which commenced on 15 February 2012.

Victam Asia 2012, Asia Pacific’s premier exhibition and conferences for the animal feed, petfood, aquatic feed and biomass technology, brought together worldwide exhibitors, conference delegates and visitors from these industries and Thailand, as the Asian hub of the animal feed and aquafeed industries, was proud to have the event.

“Presently, chemical free meat commodities are becoming an important issue in the world,” Limlamthong said. “Animal feed as such is then considered as a source for safe livestock production in terms of taste and quality, where most concern is about the absence of chemicals and residues.

“With the concern in quality and safety of agricultural products, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives realises that it is important to simplify technical knowledge and modern technology in the production of raw material procurement, ingredients, manufacturing, technology, machinery, processing, storage and agriculture to primary producers. This all to be able to ensure and solidify our quality and safety of the exported agricultural commodities as well as to protect and maintain our sustainable environment and ecology,” the secretary said in his opening speech.

 After the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Victam Board the doors to the exhibition were opened and visitors from all over the world poured in. Nearly 6,200 visitors entered the Bitec exhibition centre on the three days of the exhibition. This is a 10% increase compared to the 2010 edition. More than a third of the visitors came from outside Thailand and from 66 countries in total, said Victam managing director, Henk van de Bunt.

 

Some 166 exhibitors from 29 countries, of which 12 from Asia, welcomed the visitors. All together they acquired 30% more space individually and built larger stands. The Bitec exhibition centre is well-equipped for machine manufacturers who want to expose their larger pellet mills and extruders in full, due to fewer weight restrictions on the exhibition floor. Visitor accessibility was also improved with the finalisation of the last part of the ‘sky train’ public transport system, which enables visitors to travel comfortably, quickly and coolly to the exhibition centre. Victam had even taken care of transport of the last 500 metres with mini-buses to keep visitors out of the 30+°C heat.

 

Innovations
Also for the first time exhibitors showed their innovations in an sian show, something that was rarely seen in previous editions, due to the fear of copying equipment by competing, mainly Chinese, manufacturers. But the market seems to have matured and copycats have realised that it is not only price that is determining a sale but also the quality aspect has become an issue, especially in the fast growing market in (Southeast) Asia.

 

For the first time AllAboutFeed in cooperation with Victam International organised an innovation award for an animal nutrition product at Fiaap Asia. Dr Eckel from Germany received the best quotes from the jury. Real innovations are scarce in animal nutrition since most products are improvements of already existing nutritional items. In this first edition six entries were welcomed. Since the products had to be introduced to the market after 1 January 2010 one entry had to be disqualified, as it had already been present on the market for four years.

The entries that participated were:

 
  • Near Infrared analyser NIRMaster Pro IP 65 (Buchi Labortechnik, Switzerland),
  • Customised natural plant extracts AntaPhyt MO (Dr Eckel, Germany),
  • Sodium benzoate additive Protural (Kemira, Singapore),
  • Pellet quality enhancer Seal4Feed (PLP Liquid Systems, Italy),
  • Essential oils blend GrowNat (AWP, Italy) and
  • Microbial Lysozyme (Li Feng Industry and Trading, China, but disqualified).

 

The entries were judged by three independent jurors: Ioannis Mavromichalis (Ariston Nutrition, Spain), Hinner Koster (Animate Animal Health, South Africa) and David Meisinger (Iowa State University, USA). In general the jurors were not extremely enthusiastic about the level of innovation, but they also know that innovation in nutrition is not easy. Adding up the points of these three specialists the final winner was AntaPhyt MO from Dr Eckel.

AntaPhyt MO contains a customised blend of natural plant extracts, herbs, spices and Arabic gum, aimed at boosting feed intake, supporting a healthy gut flora and even encourages good development of intestinal villi. These ingredients consist of alkaloids which are effective anti-diarrhoeals and sedatives, flavanoides known as highly potential radical scavengers, bitter components which act appetising, the same as allines which furthermore act antidyspeptic, antimycotic and have insecticidal properties and some tannins to superficially seal tissues and make mucous membranes impermeable for pathogens.

A quote from the jury report said: “The rest of the products (besides AntaPhyt MO), may contribute to the market, but are not really great new innovations and therefore not novel. “Similar products and applications already exist and therefore we would regard these more as copies of existing technologies or ideas, just with some small differences to them. Whether they will necessarily perform better than existing products in their categories still has to be seen. The AntaPhyt MO though required more innovative inputs and broader knowledge of a variety of existing concepts (e.g. unique secondary plant compounds) to successfully combine this into the development of the final product. Therefore it provides some kind of novelty, which we miss within the rest of the products.”

Aquafeed
Wenger Manufacturing’s extrusion system for high capacity small diameter aquafeed production scooped the first Aquafeed Innovation Award for contributions to the advancement of Aquafeed. The award was presented by the publisher of Aquafeed.com, Suzi Dominy. “That aquaculture is the fastest growing livestock sector in the world – and that mostly in Asia - is largely thanks to the development of feeds for a vast and growing array of species”, Dominy said. “Wenger’s new extrusion system, designed specifically for aquatic feed processing, is a real step forward. Our panel was impressed by the array of new features, and that it can increase production rates by three to five times for small diameter aquatic feeds – and for shrimp feeds in particular”.

The Highly Commended Award for feed technology recognised Geelen Counterflow for its Postconditioner MkII. The new double deck post conditioner for pelleted shrimp feed, provides high temperature conditioning after pelleting, before drying and cooling.

Developing markets
Present for the first time at Victam Asia was German company Petkus Technologie. The company recently entered into a cooperation agreement with the Japanese firm Satake for the sale and support of Petkus seed and grain processing equipment in Australia. Petkus aims to make Australia its management hub for the Asia Pacific region and to bring its full offering of grain handling equipment to the region, rather than, as before, a narrower range of seed cleaning machinery. Both Petkus and Satake are renowned international companies and Satake is known for building some of the largest and most advanced seed cleaning, pulse processing, flour and feed milling plants in the region, as well as serving the nut and other bulk processing industries.

Another remarkable return was from Norwegian mixing specialist Forberg International, who after bankruptcy has since November 2011 found a solid base at the LT-group of companies which consist of Landtechnikk and seven other companies in Norway. Its headquarters moved from Larvik to Oslo and Forberg is now further developing and marketing its twin-shaft paddle mixer with steam heat treatment for the production of hygienised mash feed.

Nutrition companies
Historically the Victam exhibition has always been a machinery show, but with the addition of Fiaap also feed ingredient exhibitors are welcomed. At the last European edition in 2011 in Cologne, Germany the feed ingredient people were not overtly present, but this time in Bangkok their numbers have increased. For example an old name with a new concept was presented by German-based Bayer. At Victam Asia 2012, Bayer HealthCare together with Dr Eckel announced to further extend the efforts of establishing a high class animal nutraceutical-portfolio and customer services in Asia. The umbrella incorporates with Clariant (former Südchemie AG) and Agraquest Inc two more technology platforms. The newest product in the joint portfolio is Pecutrin, a feed additive from Dr Eckel and was recently launched in India. Pecutrin is an innovative product which prevents common metabolic disorders in ruminants leading to better health and improved performance parameters. To further diversify the portfolio in 2012 both companies actively progress nutraceutical business development of phytogenic and enhanced prebiotic brands.

“We want to consolidate our activities in the feed additive business together with our partners under one umbrella. Our customers appreciate being offered different technologies from one provider, supplying the best solutions for their individual needs”, said Dr Jan Koesling, regional business development manager Animal Nutrition & Aquaculture at Bayer Healthcare.

At the end of 2011 Bayer HealthCare launched in Asia a customer service pilot of the Bayer Quality Analyser establishing novel diagnostic standards in mycotoxin detection within feed raw material quality control.

Another new name to the show was The Ballard Group (TBG) from the United States. Malcom Ballard introduced his “SALmate - Embracing Life” technology to the Asian market. SALmate is a omega-3 fatty acid enriched dry product with EPA and DHA from high-quality purified fish oil. The refined fish oil, also protected by natural antioxidants, provides an excellent balance of EPA and DHA in optimal levels which help improve reproductive function, immune response, performance and overall growth and well being, across all livestock and companion animals. The uniqueness of the product is the encapsulation into a specially designed starch coating.

“The product is manufactured under license in the USA, and is already well proven in North America, Australasia and parts of Europe. The next step was to branch out into new areas,” Ballard said. TBG marketing manager Jan-Jeroen De Beucker said that SALmate was very successfully introduced at the Bangkok show. “The interest was very high thanks to SALmate being workable across all species with a specific focus on reproduction in livestock, and overall well-being in companion animals. New distribution partnerships have been formed for several countries,” De Beucker said.

The largest group of ingredients companies, however, came from Asia. They supply a vast array of feed ingredients from amino acids and minerals, to yeasts, antioxidants, herbal ingredients and functional peptides. It will be interesting to see how animal nutrition further develops and expands in terms of number of exhibitors at the next edition of Victam, Fiaap and Grapas in spring 2014. From what was seen here the Asian show is slowly catching up with the European show and if markets continue developing it will eventually surpass its European equivalent.

Photo

Dick Ziggers

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