In the 3rd issue of All About Feed we delve into sustainability issues that face the animal feed industry. We take a look at the Feed Compass project and talked to insect researchers that did a life cycle assessment on insect farming.
The interest in using more sustainable feed ingredients is growing, fuelled by the environmental impact of soybean meal and fish meal. This has spurred the research and production of more sustainable feed ingredients such as insect meal. But what is the real difference between the old and the new protein sources for animal feed in terms of sustainability? A research team from the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland have therefore carried out a so-called life cycle assessment (LCA) of food industry side streams transformation via Hermetia illucens (Black Soldier Fly, hereafter called BSF) into intermediate products applicable for feed and food purposes. One of the researchers that worked on the LCA is Dr Eric Schmitt from Protix. We talked to Eric to learn more.
The second great initiative regarding sustainability that we highlight in this edition of All About Feed is the Feed Compass project that is developing calculation tools and guidelines that help companies choose future-fit (sustainable) animal feed that better suit their business. Greater transparency about the sustainability of feed ingredients helps build trust with consumers and this is the reason that large corporate food firms have an increased interest in looking more deeper into the food chain and want to know where the animal feed comes from and how it is produced. “Progressive companies that act on feed will be better positioned to create this trust. This can be done by improving current practice or by creating new innovative solutions,” Lesley Mitchell, project manager explains.
In 2019, All About Feed started a new column with experts in the field of feed technology. Under the name Tech Talk, experts from around the world discuss the latest challenges and developments in feed processing and feed machinery. In this edition, we feature John Smillie, manager at the Canadian Feed Research Centre. Diet formulation is about precision – John addresses this. All ingredients have to be weighed and combined precisely in order to produce a homogenous product. Grains and oilseed meals can be managed with screw dosing systems. However, free-flowing powders will require additional mechanisms to prevent unwanted flow (e.g. baffles at the end of the dosing screw), while light, bulky ingredients will need more persuasion to keep them moving (e.g. live bottom bins or vibratory systems).
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