As the focus on sustainable food production intensifies globally, farmers feel the pressure in implementing new standards while meeting the market’s growing protein demands. Fortunately, with the advancement of science and technology, there are ways to mitigate these challenges to produce food more efficiently and sustainably. Evonik Animal Nutrition’s new phytogenic feed additive contains a high content of flavonoids – known to reduce chronic inflammation – thus boosting animal health and performance and promoting efficient food production.
We live in a time where governments, businesses and consumers globally are aware of the critical need of sustainable food production. As climate change becomes more apparent, efforts towards reducing damage and protecting the planet is at the forefront of businesses worldwide, including the animal agriculture sector.
Sustainability doesn’t just mean decreasing emissions, it also means producing food in the most efficient manner to achieve optimum supply. In the case of livestock, it is imperative to ensure they are healthy, to function and produce at their best capacity.
Livestock animals face various permanent stress factors at different stages throughout their lives, including pathogen infections, which lead to poor gut health and illnesses; extreme weather conditions, in particular heat; and physiological stress related to pregnancy and reproduction. All of which can lead to inflammation and pain.
While inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism, if not treated promptly, it can develop into chronic or prolonged high-level inflammation which can last from several months to even years.
The problem with chronic inflammation is that it diverts valuable resources in the animal away from production. Energy gets channelled towards healing the inflammation instead of being used for beneficial activities, such as growth and performance. Moreover, animals suffering from chronic inflammation are more prone to diseases leading to a higher medication consumption. Consequently, it can have a knock-on impact on health resulting in impaired meat quality, reduced reproductive performance and possible lameness.
Poor health can also impair an animal’s feed intake and milk supply which can affect their young and potentially result in higher incidences of mortality, or in some cases, culling. Unhealthy livestock also produce more emissions as they do not breakdown nutrients and food efficiently, thus impacting sustainability.
As such, reducing chronic inflammation is critical to improving animal health and well-being and increasing production. Now, a new plant-based product that utilises the beneficial properties of flavonoids to modulate chronic inflammation promises to offer a more natural, sustainable solution for livestock producers.
PhytriCare IM is a blend of carefully selected plant extracts, known as flavonoids, some of which boast anti-inflammatory properties. With a minimum of 10% flavonoids in its formula, the product, which is made from selected plant extracts, is formulated to synergistically treat the inflammation response.
It targets a wide range of inflammatory pathways to modulate but not suppress the inflammatory response, in order not to jeopardise the natural immune response. Moreover, PhytriCare IM flavonoids are small enough to be easily digested and absorbed by the animal. Because these specific flavonoids enter through the digestive tract, they have a more systemic anti-inflammatory effect.
Several studies have been carried out to assess the benefits of PhytriCare IM under production conditions. One study done in Hungary found that supplementing sow diets with the product increased the number of piglets born alive and improved the performance of suckling piglets – reducing pre-weaning mortality. Some of the sows fed with the product also showed a lower serum haptoglobin concentration, indicating an improved systemic inflammatory status.
In addition to mitigating the harmful effects of chronic inflammation, the product also supports in reducing and preventing fatty liver incidence. Taking these benefits together, the product helps to maintain gut integrity, promote optimum liver health and improve reproductive system functioning, contributing towards better health and performance. Moreover, the product can withstand the feed production process including the pelleting stage, making it well suited to today’s modern production methods.
When an animal is healthy, it has more energy available to be channelled towards its own well-being and production. Consequently, its performance improves, allowing the animal to produce healthier young as well as good milk supply. All of which maximises productivity and reduces environmental footprint which contributes towards sustainable food production. As the sector looks to move away from reliance on antibiotics, plant-based alternative feed additives such as PhytriCare IM offer a sustainable solution for today’s livestock producers.