The production of plant based feed additives starts with the extraction of the fuctional ingredients from the plant. A new French platform with specialised equipment makes production of these ingredients easier.
In January this year, the French company ID4Feed, that specialises in the development of feed supplements for animal feed, acquired the Valréas eco-extraction platform PEEV (also based in France). This will make it possible to produce plant extracts for animals at a semi-industrial scale.
The PEEV platform is aimed to introduce innovative eco-extraction technologies and to develop sustainable processes and know-how that improve the economical and ecological efficiency in a range of industries from agri-food to animal health and nutrition. “The platform started in September 2016, with customers from the perfume, cosmetics and nutraceutical sectors. We have a range of different types of equipment and offers our customers the possibility of upscaling from laboratory tests to a semi-industrial pilot scale”, explains Maria Marco, the PEEV General Manager. Types of equipment that is owned by the platform includes: extraction by ultrasound, autoclave extraction by subcritical water (water subjected to high pressure and high temperature), liquified gas extraction (butane, fluorinated gases, etc), and extraction by mechanical pressure when cold. “The advantage of the PEEV will be to develop innovative technologies of extraction and galenisation of plant extracts. This means we can control the the entire spectrum: from the plant itself, all the way to the behaviour of the plant extracts in the digestive tract of animals”, adds General Manager François Gautier.
Since its establishment of the company in June, 2017, ID4Feed relies on the technical and logistical support of its Spanish, Seville-based partner company Bordas, which is one of the European leaders in the production of plant extracts and essential oils. In addition to working closely with this Spanish firm, ID4Feed has developed a network of other partners specialised in plant production and extraction in France, the United States and in Asia. Plant stimulation is one of the cornerstones of ID4Feed’s know-how. Plant stimulation (or ‘induction‘) is when an aggressor, such as a pathogen or environmental stressor, activates the plant’s internal protection mechanisms and elicits a certain defence response in the plant of interest. “Induction technologies stimulate the production of specific active substances that form part of the natural defence arsenal of plants and that have proven beneficial properties for animals”, explains Mr Gautier. The French company has also developed specific galenic and encapsulation technologies to protect the active substances present in plant extracts and release them at their site of action in the animal’s gut. “In 2019, we plan to invest € 1.2 million in the PEEV facility to do more research in this field, which will help us to better address the specific needs of the global feed industry”, says Mr Gautier.
The interest in plant extracts and essential oils in the animal feed industry is increasing and this is because these ingredients possess a range of beneficial properties for animal health and performance. “Our functional feed supplements help to overcome the intestinal oxido-inflammatory cycle in animals”, according to Camille Rozier, ID4Feed’s R&D Manager, in charge of designing and monitoring scientific projects. Farm animals are subjected to multiple stressors including dietary transitions, bacterial infections and changes to the environment. As a consequence, the animal may suffer oxidative stress, decreased immunity, gut flora disruption and inflammation of the mucous membranes. Some plant extracts prove to be highly effective at reducing oxido-inflammation by acting at different steps in the cycle. The ID4Feed product range consists of mixtures of plant extracts and plants rich in secondary metabolites, with or without essential oils. One good example is the ‘ID Phyt Capcin’ range, that consists of an induced chilli powder (Capsicum) that naturally contains active substances (capsaicinoids) effective against inflammation and/or heat stress. Several research trials have been conducted with this product in pigs and poultry.
Next to more investments in plant extracts, and more research focus on the interactions (“Biosis”) that exists between the environment, the plant, the animal and its microbiota, and how these interactions may impact on the animal’s life, ID4Feed is also growing in its presence in different regions, especially Asia. The company exhibited at the VIV Asia for the first time and ID4Feed China, a sister company based in Qingdao, adapts and promotes the products in the Chinese market with use of their own mixing facility. The French company also has a presence in Thailand and is actively developing its commercial network in Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.