A conversation with Adisseo's new R&D director
In his new role as Nutrition and Animal Health R&D Director, Dr. Stefan Jakob shares with LIVESTOCK and FEED Business how Adisseo is diversifying its portfolio of functional nutritional solutions to resolve the "burning issues" of its customers.
LFB: Before becoming Nutrition and Animal Health R&D Director, you were previously Innovation Project Director. How are you using your previous experiences to help bring Adisseo to the next level of growth?
It is crucial to bring the experiences of these two worlds together. Meaningful R&D work, from programmes responding to practical requests from the field, to innovation projects discovering new ground, must answer customers' needs and put them in the centre of our solutions. Here the learnings from, for example, successfully developing Adisseo's probiotic solution Alterion®, are of tremendous value for responding to similar new challenges within Adisseo.
How is R&D at Adisseo helping to address the biggest concerns of your feed mill and farm customers?
Up to 70% of animal production costs are related to feed. Therefore it is natural that our customers ask for help when it comes to economical, and also sustainable solutions in order to maximise the value from their raw materials and feeds which contribute to the health of their animals. Adisseo's R&D is responding to their requests by helping them to better understand the utilisation strategies of feed raw materials, for example by feeding the new feedase Rovabio® Advance in combination with Adisseo's online PNE (Precise Nutrition Evaluation) service, especially with regard to metabolisable energy and digestibility of the raw materials.
Moreover, customers do think a lot about strategies to keep animals, for example poultry and swine, healthy in order to avoid treating diseases. In this context in many countries around the world, the withdrawal of antibiotic growth promotors, driven by legislation and consumer demand, is making the lives of our customers even more complex. Adisseo's R&D is working on a new solution programme for gut health, to address the questions around "health by nutrition". Our probiotic solution Alterion® is a cornerstone in this solution programme. Together with our partner Novoyzymes, we drive R&D programmes to develop new, unique, next-generation solutions for our customers.
Please share with us further on the rationale for diversifying your portfolio, moving beyond basic nutrition such as methionine and vitamins.
We want to offer solutions to burning issues of our customers. The diversification of our portfolio is directly linked to their need for scientifically sound nutritional solutions. Successful, meaning economical and sustainable, animal production is becoming more and more complex. Adisseo is offering solutions from three nutritional cornerstones: for the growth of animals, notably our Rhodimet® methionine and our Microvit® vitamin portfolio; optimising the value of feed and increasing its digestability, with our Rovabio® solutions; and "health by nutrition" and optimised meat quality with Alterion® and Selisseo®. To bring together these three big building blocks to transform the knowledge into novel solutions for our customers is an inspiring challenge for the entire R&D organisation at Adisseo.
With regard to your new probiotic Alterion, as it is based on the Bacillus subtilis strain, it could be considered as an exogenous probiotic. What is your view of endogenous probiotics such as lactic acid bacteria, and how could Alterion possibly complement them in a feed formulation?
We think it is not a matter of 'endogenous' or DFM (direct fed microbials). If we go to the very basic definition of probiotics, it becomes clear that three points must be fulfilled: a living organism; administered in an adequate amount; conferring a health benefit. The Bacillus subtilis strain in Alterion® is the result of a very sound and scientific screening process. What is very important, beyond its properties to sustain growth and help limiting opportunistic bacteria, it has been selected to be safe. Safe to the animal, for example, it is not haemolytic, and safe for human, as it does not carry any antibiotic-resistant genes. This strain is truly unique!
And how would Adisseo advise customers who are including other AGP alternatives in their feed formulation?
A large scientific programme, comprising in vitro and in vivo techniques, has been conducted to make sure that Alterion® is compatible with numerous other feed additives such as organic acids, ionophores, coccidiostats, phytogenics and other AGPs at the level used in feed. However, it is also important to mention that a probiotic needs to be sensitive for antibiotics relevant in human medicine for use at therapeutic levels – it is simply crucial for safety! All this was taken into consideration when Alterion® was developed; it is an important reason for its success today.
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