Scott Hine, Vice President of Products & Solutions and Chief Innovation Officer at Novus

At IPPE 2020, Novus continues its "Pushing Boundaries" mission in gut health, meat quality and maternal feeding/epigenetics for the coming year. The company continues to "push the boundaries" when it comes to the long-term benefits of animal nutrition, developing products and solutions that include chelated trace minerals, enzymes and antibiotic alternatives specifically to maximise its customers' production output and improve quality.

We speak to Scott Hine, Vice President of Products & Solutions and Chief Innovation Officer at Novus about the company's Pushing Boundaries mission for the coming year, the development of Mintrex® chelated trace minerals and Novus's ongoing sustainability efforts.

Tell us more about how Novus is "Pushing Boundaries" to improve animal nutrition and offer customers the option to reduce antibiotic use in the industry.

This is the third year in a row for Pushing Boundaries, which aims to find the next evolution in animal nutrition. Essentially, we want to "push the boundaries" of nutrition to the next level. For example, a protease would be used to improve the digestible amino acid value or protein availability of raw materials. But Novus is researching how protease can better improve gut health value as well.

We presented three scientific abstracts at IPPE 2020/International Poultry Scientific Forum highlighting a small subset of the research we're conducting. These included a look at the nutritional value of phytase and going beyond the traditional use of phytase. By super-dosing phytase, we found nutritional improvements in livestock's gut health.

Another paper we presented was on Cibenza® DP100 and its effect on trypsin inhibitor. In soybeans there are varying amounts of trypsin, which has a ntinutritional factors in livestock, reducing feed conversion and animal growth. What we found is that by treating soy that has high levels of tryps in with Cibenza® DP100, we can reduce the effect of trypsin allowing the animal to have better uptake and nutrient value, so we get better performance, particularly in poultry.

The last research presented focused on the use of essential oils in combination with organic acids and their performance in livestock. What we're finding is the modulation effects on the immune system are coming from the essential oils and we're getting enhanced benefits from the organic acids in the gut.

How did the development of Mintrex® chelated trace minerals come about? Especially as the only commercially available bis-chelate product?

The idea was conceived at Novus's research and development facility in the United States. We know that inorganic metals aren't very bioavailable. We started from the concept of the calcium salt of Alimet® (our methionine hydroxyl analogue, HMTBa), which is called MHA®. We knew calcium disassociated quickly when it reached the acidic gut, so we researched the possibility of delivering copper, zinc and manganese. Mintrex® chelated trace minerals combine HMTBa with an essential trace mineral in a two-to-one bis-chelated molecule. Through various iterations, we found unique properties: great bioavailability, easier transfer through the gut wall and less metal in the excreta, thus a far more sustainable way of using our planet's natural resources. As a result, our customers get the benefits of the trace mineral and HMTBa both quickly and efficiently.

Are chelated trace minerals the future of maximising livestock growth potential? (immune system, muscle growth, etc.)

I would say that trace minerals are certainly a key part of the future of mineral supplementation. The supplementation rates that go into diets, taking into account inorganic minerals vs organic trace minerals, isabout1/10th or one full log lower. We're adding on the order of 30 to 40 parts per million (ppm) of Mintrex® compared to the300-500ppm-plusofinorganicminerals that you're normally adding to the diet. This benefits the producer as they don't need to have as much added in the mixer, they store less volume and it's a sustainable way to provide minerals to the animal when you're not putting as much into the environment.

How does this combination of Alimet® and organic trace minerals work better for your customers when compared to other commercially available amino acids in the market?

Methionine hydroxy analogue, or HMTBa, is a unique molecule, different from DL-methionine. Our customers who use Alimet® seean improvement in livestock performance compared to DL-methionine. The uptake is quite good, there's less nitrogen that goes into the environment and the HMTBa taken up into the body is converted into L-methionine and used right away. Alimet® also has natural acidic qualities helping with pH control.

What is the research team's process for developing new products at Novus, especially in terms of preventing animal disease starting before the farm gate?

For new products or product improvements, we always start with the customer need. Typically, we identify a balance of both short-and long-term needs that the industry has, or a challenge that our customers are facing or anticipating. Then we look at the animal health or nutrition issue we're trying to solve. For example, there are a lot of immune stimulants, vaccines and other feed additives that claim they support animal health by improving immunity. At Novus, we work holistically with our customers to determine how to best achieve their goals. In this case, we would be looking at their feed and husbandry practices to help them reduce or eliminate antibiotic use by supporting improvements to the animal's immune system. We investigate the mode of action and determine what we need to do to improve or deliver that value economically to the customer. That's the kind of the thinking process that may result in the development of a new molecule.

Could you tell us more about Novus's sustainability efforts in the industry? 

Solutions, Service, Sustainability are the foundations of everything we do at Novus. Our products are designed and shown to deliver an economic advantage to feed and animal protein producers through a variety of methods like by supporting reproductive health and foetal viability; or by bolstering animal health and performance. Truly, sustainability is built into what we do.

All of our products offer a level of sustainability. For instance, look at our enzyme platforms. Enzymes are really helping release further nutrient value from feed. As mentioned earlier in the interview, protease and other enzymes helps improve digestibility, energy and available protein from many different materials, whether it's grains, fish meal, or meat and bone meal. Enzymes are a great catalyst for improving the overall productivity across the animal's life. And we have the science and research to show the efficacy of our Cibenza® enzyme products.

Visit Novus at: