October 20, 2014
Canada to develop new enzyme combinations for livestock feed
Researchers from Concordia University, Canada, are developing new enzyme combinations for pork and poultry feed, which can lead to significant improvements in digestion.
The project will be supported by a CAD6 million (US$5.3 million) funding from Genome Canada's Genomic Applications Partnership Program with Genome Québec. It is fronted by Elanco Animal Health, a division of the global pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly, and Concordia's Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics (CSFG).
Adrian Tsang, CSFG's director, will head the research team which screens proprietary enzymes for digestibility of common ingredients found in Canadian pork and poultry feed. They will then develop commercial products aimed at improving both feed conversion and producer profit margins.
The success of the project means that animals can receive the same nutritional benefits with less feed. Such outcome could have a major economic impact on the global animal feed industry, which values at CAD800 million (US$710 million) yearly. The figure is expected to grow up to 7% - 8% each year.
"Globally, 600 million tonnes of grain are used for swine and poultry feed each year, which take up over 60 million hectares of valuable farmland," said Tsang. "Our goal with this project is to reduce strain on the environment due to decreased animal waste, and to improve overall animal growth and health."
In addition, another benefit from the project is developing a safe and affordable food supply.