The functional food industry is experiencing rapid growth. Using selenium to make chicken and poultry meat healthier seems to be boosted by this trend, Asian based company ABCA, part of the AB Agri group, says.
The company sees a range of opportunities for enriched animal products, due to the growing health concerns, an evolving regulatory environment allowing health claims on foods and increased demand for functional food products. Enriching (human) food products by for example selenium fits perfectly in this trend. Selenium is considered a strong antioxidant, with benefits for the animal (when added to the feed) and also for humans when the selenium is deposited from the animal in the meat and eggs.
ABCA has carried out several trials with its organic selenium product* at a number of Australian universities. It was shown that the selenium product was a more effective source of organic selenium compared to other organic selenium yeast sources, achieving better animal performance and significantly higher selenium deposition in the eggs (extra 22%) and chicken meat (extra 10%). Also a better ROI was shown and the eggs get a longer shelf life.
After the trial results, a number of egg producing companies in Malaysia have started to use the selenium product to market their selenium enriched eggs to retailers. At the currently held show ‘Poultry India’ in Hyderabad, India, the company is showcasing this product for the first time and hopes to convince more Asian poultry farmers to step into the functional food market.