March 3, 2023


South Korea's CJ Bio unveils multi-layered approach to a holistic feed solution


An eFeedLink Exclusive Talk


A giant in the animal specialty nutrition, South Korea's CJ BIO Animal Nutrition & Health sets its sights on becoming "a total solution provider for sustainable animal production," the company tells eFeedLink.


This goal would be achieved with CJ BIO's reputed R&D and customer-focused solutions. It is also amplifying the brand visibility of its products " to help customers easily remember them."


eFeedLink find out more from CJ BIO's Dr. Eileen Han, director of technical marketing; Dr. Jaecheol Kim, head of amino acid tech solution; and Alex Chung, brand marketing team lead, about its business, specalised feed products and approach to enhancing feed and animal dietary qualities.


Dr. Eileen Han, CJ BIO's director of technical marketing


Dr. Jaecheol Kim, CJ BIO's head of amino acid tech solution


Alex Chung, CJ BIO's brand marketing team lead


We noted that CJ BIO is organised into two business divisions: Animal Nutrition and Protein Solution. Under the Animal Nutrition division, are essential amino acid products produced using CJ BIO's fermentation and purification technology, with feed millers as the target customers? Does the Protein Solution division deal with soy-based raw materials to meet the protein requirements of livestock — with farmers as its end users?


CJ BIO: With regard to the Animal Nutrition division, your explanation is correct.


As for the Protein Solution division, it consists of three departments. The Protein Business department executes the global strategy of CJ BIO's Green Protein Product Range such as X-Soy (soy protein concentrate) and Soytide (fermented soybean meal). At the same time, it develops a new-generation protein product that is researched with CJ BIO's technology.


The other departments are the Application Center and Technical Marketing. They mainly focus on ‘solution products,' that is, functional feed additives. The Application Center develops and evaluates a new specialty product to provide solutions to the market and help resolve customers' challenges. The Technical Marketing department will then deliver this solution to the customers by analysing their needs and suggesting functional products designed by the Application Center.


Meanwhile, the Protein Solution division focuses on targeting our customer group of feed millers and integrators.


Please share with us the characteristics of CJ BIO's L-methionine, L-Met eco, that make it a sustainable solution. How will this new product lower the cost of feed?


CJ BIO: L-Met eco is produced at CJ BIO's plant in Malaysia. The decision to produce L-Met Eco was made in line with the current global ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) trend as L-Met Eco reduces carbon emission by 14% compared with L-Met.


CJ BIO recently announced a carbon neutral and zero waste plan by 2050, and the first immediate step listed includes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in all value chains and increasing the use of renewable power wherever possible.


L-Met Eco is the first product designed and produced under such a move towards a carbon-neutral target.  L-methionine has excellent bioavailability and we have obtained the results through a series of research showing that 95% of L-methionine performs better and save costs compared with the other 99% of methionine sources (99% conversion base) like DL-methionine and methionine hydroxyl analogues.


There is increasing pressure on the animal feed industry to reduce the crude protein level in livestock diets. In view of doing so, supplementary amino acids play an important role, with valine and isoleucine crucial to maintaining crude protein at low levels. How does CJ BIO help customers achieve their goals of keeping feed costs low while ensuring optimal amino acid balance in livestock diets?


CJ BIO: A 1% reduction in crude protein (CP) content in monogastric animal feed can reduce the use of soybean meal in the formulation by 2.5%.


With the current trend of high protein meal prices, reducing the use of soybean meals can significantly reduce feed costs. Therefore, a reduced CP diet is an essential dietary strategy not only to reduce carbon emissions but also to minimise feed costs.


However, nutritionists need to be aware that when reducing protein content in a diet, some essential amino acids (EAAs) in the ‘later' order (isoleucine, valine, histidine, L-phenylalanine and tyrosine) can be deficient other than the major EAAs (i.e., lysine, methionine, L-arginine, threonine and tryptophan), depend on the level of CP reduction and ingredients used.


Among the later-order (EAAs that might be deficient in a reduced CP diet), isoleucine (Ile) and valine (Val) are the ones that are mostly deficient with even a small reduction of CP. The consequences of not balancing Ile and Val deficiency in a reduced CP diet can be significant as the utilisation efficiency of all other EAAs will be limited to the levels of Ile/Val in that diet.


In that respect, CJ BIO has been promoting a reduced CP strategy with the strategic use of Ile/Val to our customers to achieve the reduction of excessive protein meals used in the diet while ensuring the maximum growth of animals.


Regarding the CJ BIO Pro granulated amino acid range (ThrPro-threonine and TrpPro-tryptophan), are these products calibrated to enhance the threonine and tryptophan deficiency in biomass content in livestock feed applications? Please share with us their development, efficacy, benefits, the type of livestock species they are used for and the reason/s for their popularity in the United States and Brazil.


CJ BIO: CJ BIO's Pro products are granulated amino acids using fermentation biomass, and pure amino acid contents are provided to our customers. Therefore, as long as the content of the particular amino acid is used in the formulation programme, CJ BIO's granulated amino acid products will fulfil the deficiency of the feed the same as powder/liquid amino acid products.


CJ BIO developed granulated amino acid products as there are a number of benefits over powder amino acid products. Firstly, granulated amino acid products improve the mixability of amino acids and reduce dust.


Secondly, granulated amino acid products reduce carbon emissions by alternating the high-purity refining process with a low-carbon emitting granulation process.


The other advantage of the granulated amino acid product is that the fermentation biomass included in the granulated products is unique (Corynebacterium biomass, gram-positive bacterium). The Corynebacterial cell mass is very safe and provides additional post-biotic effects, such as anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation, based on ex-vivo experiments conducted using a porcine intestinal cell line and bone marrow-derived immune cells.


Since its development, CJ BIO's granulated amino acid products have been used in poultry and swine feeds.


Feed enzymes have received increased attention in recent times, in part due to the constraints in feed grain supply and rising prices of raw materials. Given that CJ BIO's portfolio also includes enzymes (and other products like nucleotides and plant-based high protein) for feed, what type of support does the company offer to guide livestock producers in selecting and using the right enzyme products based on the specific needs of livestock production?


CJ BIO: CJ BIO provides a digital service to estimate the content of non-starch polysaccharides in animal diets and suggest an appropriate enzyme solution based on the estimation. With this support, we provide solutions so that the customers have more choices to include increasing amounts of economical and locally available feed ingredients.

Additionally, our Application Center supports customer sample analysis in the artificial gastrointestinal tract (GIT) for better simulation of the gut in animals.  The results can be applied without having to test in vivo, which takes much longer.


We understand that NeoPro™, a premium plant-based protein, is recognised as a successful and appropriate replacement for costly animal protein in the animal feed industry. Is this product used in conjunction with CJ BIO's enzymes or amino acids, or can it be used independently in relation to feed grain type? Please share with us examples of its use.


CJ BIO: NeoPro™ can be independently used to improve feed quality as well as to replace animal protein sources for feed.


CJ BIO developed an ideal and synergistic combination of functional amino acids, nucleotides, low molecular weight peptides and probiotics that can effectively replace animal protein sources that are often scrutinised due to variable quality, supply shortage and disease contamination risks.


In addition to better digestibility with a minimal number of anti-nutritional factors, NeoPro™ can improve the gut health of animals by enhancing mucosal and systemic immunity.


With rising feed prices due to higher global energy costs and the challenges posed by climate change, how would you convince feed and livestock producers to stay on the course of using sustainable solutions that CJ BIO offers? How would you drive home the message for efficient use of natural resources in livestock production?


CJ BIO: By utilising cutting-edge microbial fermentation technology, CJ BIO produces amino acids using sustainable and natural ingredients such as raw sugar.


Furthermore, we continue to research metabolic engineering and biosynthesis pathways to improve our microbial platforms, which can reduce carbon emissions. With these efforts, CJ BIO aims to provide eco-friendly and economical solutions.


We started our enzyme business in 2020 to enable customers to use feed ingredients more efficiently by reducing anti-nutritional factors and improving nutrient digestibility. Collectively, we believe and convince our customers that by using CJ BIO's dietary strategy, monogastric animal producers can also contribute to reducing carbon emissions by using less feed per kilogramme of edible protein production.


We understand that, through a technical platform supported by a database, CJ BIO aims to provide an optimal solution to address challenges in the livestock industry, such as gut health and disease prevention. Please explain this process of delivering solutions through the use of data and the "optimal solution" itself.


CJ BIO: CJ BIO has discovered effective indicators that directly affect intestinal health to derive a correlation between the level of intestinal health indicators (biomarkers) and growth. We then analysed with big data and artificial intelligence to list out key items by applying the indicators.


By evaluating the items in-vitro and ex-vivo analysis in-house, we design an optimal blend of the key items. This is how we differentiate our solution from other conventional ones.


We are aware that livestock producers, especially smaller ones, are still using antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) to mitigate costs. As an animal nutrition company, how would you deal with this development, taking into consideration the solutions and products offered by CJ BIO?


CJ BIO: First of all, lowering the crude protein level is key to reducing the usage of AGPs. If the level of crude protein is maintained high and removing AGPs in a diet, the residue of undigested crude protein generally causes the proliferation of pathogens.


Undigested protein fermentation in the GIT increases intestinal pH and subsequently reduces short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) production. Lower fiber fermentation and SCFA available for enterocytes increase oxygen diffusion into the intestinal lumen which triggers opportunistic pathogens to express virulence factors.


Therefore, lowering crude protein levels is crucial to achieving the maximum performance of farm animals.


CJ BIO leads the trend of lowering crude protein levels of animal diets with our slogan, "E-Balanced Diet."


We are also the only supplier that produces eight types of L-form amino acids (lysine, L-methionine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, isoleucine, arginine and histidine) so that we can provide the ideal protein solution with balanced amino acid nutrition.


At the same time, CJ BIO also focuses on developing unique functional additives to improve gut health and prevent disease. We are about to launch our first product to enhance the gut health of young animals this year.


With more than 60 years of history, how would CJ BIO continue to project the image and brand that it holds?


CJ BIO: CJ BIO keeps researching next-generation amino acids to realise the perfect nutrition solution.


We are ready to develop and launch new amino acids, alongside the eight types of amino acids which we are currently supplying.


We will help the animal production industry be more sustainable by utilising more efficiently used and locally available ingredients with an ideally, balanced amino acid nutrition.


We want to be a partner that customers think of first when it comes to a sustainable solution for animal nutrition and health.


Today, we are transforming and evolving into a solution partner for ideal protein from the position of an amino acid producer.

- Terry Tan, eFeedLink

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