October 2, 2006


Nutrition experts discuss probiotic potential for Asian animal production at Lallemand seminar


Press release


Last month, Lallemand and Nuevotec, the feed additive and ingredients provider that distributes Lallemand Animal Nutrition products in Thailand, organised a seminar on the successful use of probiotics in livestock feed, chaired by animal nutrition expert, Associate Professor Dr Jowaman Khajarern from Khon Kaen University, Thailand.


Some 40 professionals from the country's top feed firms and animal producers gathered to discuss the potential of probiotics to control zootechnical performance, health and safety in various animal productions, from swine to aquatic species, poultry and bovines.


Market overview and regulatory issues were covered by B. Rochet, Marketing and Development Manager for Lallemand Animal Nutrition (in charge of Asia), and Chairman of the European Probiotic Association.


This was followed by practical case studies, with a particular focus on swine and poultry applications, by Yannig Le Treut, Veterinary Doctor and in charge of Lallemand's worldwide monogastric activities.


B. Rochet concluded the seminar, "The continuous use of antibiotics in animal feed comes to its limits in Asia too, due to increasing pressure from the outside and the inside. Both exportation and increasing consumer awareness and demand for safe food are shaping tomorrow's feed additive market in Asia." This event confirmed Lallemand's presence in Asia, a booming market for animal production.


In today's global market, driven by consumer demand and international regulations, the animal producer must quickly evolve towards safe, natural and environment-friendly animal production methods in line with international regulations, while ensuring optimal productivity.


In this context, probiotics, with their track-record of scientific and practical evidences, represent a safe, natural, and perfectly profitable solution to improve zootechnical performance, while controlling animal health, safety and well-being as well as feed and food safety.


The probiotic concept has been recognised by northern European countries for a long time now, and European and Japanese markets are experiencing strong growth. For the rest of Asia, the market is still very young, but holds huge potential, especially in India and China. This is even more true since January 2006 and the ban of all antibiotic growth promoters in Europe. Probiotics are one of the very few natural alternatives which are fully approved for use in feed by European authorities, and this is the strictest regulation in the world, that not only guarantees origin and safety of the feed additive, but also its efficacy, with numerous field data and scientific back-up necessary to file a dossier.


Two complementary probiotics from Lallemand are fully approved by EU authorities to help control performance and sanitary conditions during the whole pig production cycle. Results and practical applications were discussed during the seminar.


Live yeast S. cerevisiae boulardii I-1079 (Levucell SB) has been developed for monogastric species. Its action in the gut has been described as a shield effect that reinforces gut microflora and protects the animal's digestive tract. It is registered in Europe as a natural feed additive for piglets and sows. Its addition to sows' feed during late gestation and lactation significantly increases feed intake and feed efficiency, decreases weight loss in lactation and improves litter weight and survival. Used in piglets, Levucell SB decreases mortality, increases weight gain and prevents c. difficile-associated diarrhoeas.


Lactic acid bacteria P. acidilactici 18/5M (Bactocell) is recognised for its ability to strengthen gut microflora of monogastric species, with a positive impact on pathogen control and feed digestibility. In fattening pigs, Bactocell increases feed conversion rates and weight gain, and improves health and safety.


Poultry production is a mature, yet evolving market, with high pressure on costs and tough competition on one side, and increasing consumer awareness and safety regulations on the other. Only solutions with proven return on investment are acceptable.


During the seminar, Yannig Le Treut showed how probiotics could fit into the picture by improving feed conversion rate (FCR) and offering increased meat and egg yield. In broilers for example, ADWG is improved by nearly 4 percent and FCR by 3-5 percent.


Probiotics help in pathogen control in poultry, housed in an environment very prone to contaminations.


The lactic bacteria in Bactocell can protect the gut from pathogens due to three main actions in the gut:

    • Strengthening of gut flora (Lactic acid production, pH decrease at micro-environmental levels, and total lactic acid flora increase)
    • Enhancement of gut health (improved gut maturity and feed digestibility)
    • Reducing undesirable gut flora

Experimental pathogen challenges with S. enteritidis showed that Bactocell actually prevented Salmonella colonisation of hens' guts, as well as egg contamination. Similarly, Bactocell has proven effective in limiting E. coli, C. perfringens and S. typhimurium gut infection in broilers.


Levucell SB is subject of a patent in the US covering the protection against salmonellas.


The ruminant-specific live yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae I-1077 (Levucell SC) has been specially selected and developed for its activities in the rumen. It has the ability to improve rumen microflora and function, and enhance digestion and nutrient intake.


Levucell SC significantly increases feed efficiency, which is reflected in improved milk and muscle production, giving good return on investment to the producer. Most importantly, rumen health is improved, with a positive impact on cows' overall health and well-being: sub-acidosis, bloating and acidosis-related troubles are reduced, which is of particular importance at times of stress, such as heat stress, transport and feed transition.


Recently, Dr Alex Bach (IRTA, Spain) showed that Levucell SC improves rumen pH and dairy cow feeding pattern (feed intake and meal frequency are increased) in conditions similar to commercial dairy farms.


In fattening beef, the use of Levucell SC proves to be a good alternative to growth promoting ionophore monensin.


The probiotic concept is fairly new in aquaculture and shows very promising results in various aquatic species.


In Asia, where shrimp production is a primary market, Lallemand has already conducted several trials showing the benefits of Bactocell on shrimp growth rate, survival rate, and microbiological status.


A new research trial has shown that the growth of Litopenaeus stylirostris shrimps was increased by about 30 percent in ponds, while resistance to vibrio infections was increased by more than 75 percent, and shrimp gut microbiological studies supported these findings. This project is still ongoing, and investigators are now looking deeper into the modes of probiotic action in the animal gut (M. Castex, IFREMER/Lallemand research project).


Positive results have also been obtained with probiotics in other aquatic species.


This is a quick overview of probiotic applications in various animal productions, each of which is being supported by trials, scientific background and user observations. In all these examples, probiotics appear as a profitable, safe and recognised solution. In practice, we must keep in mind that their use should always be part of a more global approach which should take into account the animal and its environment, and cover other parameters, such as formulation, feeding programmes, animals management and hygiene.


Lallemand Animal Nutrition products are available on the main markets of the continent, either through its own local representative office in Beijing, or through a growing network of well-established distributors: Nuevotec in Thailand, ASPI (Asia Stockwell Products Inc.) in Taiwan, Agritech in Malaysia and B.V. feed supplements manufacturing Co. Ltd. in India.

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