New advances in animal feed and nutrition technology are ushering in a bold new era of progress for poultry, swine and ruminant industries.
A top example, now leading the pace of innovation in many key markets, is Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) technology pioneered and advanced by Nuscience, part of the Royal Agrifirm Group. A sharp rise in interest and adoption of MCFA across the Canadian market – where it is available via newly expanded distribution under the Biotica brand with tailored versions for each livestock species – is among the latest signals of a continued strong worldwide trend.
Among numerous benefits, recent study results from leading universities and research institutions are expanding the knowledge of specific MCFA advantages for: supporting animal health and performance, providing an in-feed safeguard against viral contamination, protecting animals against a variety of wellness and stress challenges, and supporting control strategies against major pathogens.
“The global animal feed and nutrition sector, along with animal agriculture, is rapidly transitioning to the future,” says Dr. Rob Goedegebuure, Global Lead, Health4U Feed Additives, Nuscience. “There are rising challenges but also tremendous opportunities. Advances such as MCFA technology are helping to lead the way and push the pace, by providing new solutions for safe, nutritious and high quality animal food that offers enhanced benefits for animals, the producers and their industries, and ultimately for consumers.”
Canada is among the latest examples of a key livestock production market embracing an enhanced focus on feed technology based innovations. This follows the implementation of new rules regarding the use of antimicrobials (supporting a trend toward overall reduced and more judicious use), along with the continued advancement of key sustainability initiatives. The MCFA technology offers a highly advanced, proven, science-driven platform that fits today’s marketplace expectations for sustainable bio-based solutions.
The latest knowledge and opportunities with MCFA are the current focus of a Nuscience delegation Canadian tour that includes meetings and events with producers, companies and industry, veterinarians and nutritionists across the country. An Eastern Canada leg of the tour is now complete and a Western Canada leg is now beginning. Nuscience, along with Canadian Bio-Systems Inc.(CBS Inc.), its strategic marketing partner for Nuscience technology in the Canadian market, is seeing further strong uptake of Biotica by a range of companies and operations, including many who have now utilized this technology with excellent results over multiple production cycles.
Instead of relying on medicines, Nuscience offers alternative solutions based on natural ingredients. MCFA are molecules consisting of 6 to 12 carbon length chains that – under the right formulations and strategies – have shown functional activities beneficial to all phases of livestock production and value chain movement. This includes particular advantages during critical periods of transition and vulnerability over the course of production cycles. Nuscience MCFA technology has also been shown to help optimize intrinsic health and immunity across livestock species by positively supporting gut morphology.
In swine, along with broad animal performance benefits, among the specific pathogen control advantages with MCFA are supporting strategies to safeguard feed and animals against a number of top concerns. This includes the potential shown against enveloped viruses, such as porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory virus and African swine fever (ASF).
MCFA also shows unique advantages to reduce vertical transmission of disease between sows and piglets and to address persistent bacterial pathogen threats such as Streptococcus suis.
"The more we have learned about the advantages of MCFA for swine production, the more the opportunities and application strategies have expanded," says Dr. Fokko Aldershoff, account manager with Nuscience participating in the Canadian market tour. "Today in particular, there is a lot of focus on the benefits for helping to address threats such as ASF that are changing the global pig production landscape. We have seen early positive research results related to the ASF potential, and we will be conducting further research."
In poultry, the core benefits also extend to advantages tailored for supporting gut health and providing safeguards for poultry reared under high infection pressures. This includes supporting pathogen control against a number of major threats. Overall, MCFA has been shown to enhance strategies for improved growth rate and feed efficiency, higher breast meat yield, better digestion and litter quality and stronger overall health status.
“Poultry production in North America is shifting rapidly to antimicrobial use reduction, aligning with other key world production regions,” says Jan Vervloesem, poultry category manager with Nuscience participating in the Canadian market tour. “MCFA is proven as a unique and highly effective tool to support this transition and contribute in a number of critical ways to enhanced productivity, by supporting bird health – including gut health and morphology – which allows for optimal performance.”
In ruminants, MCFA benefits extend to specific advantages for both dairy and beef cattle, primarily related to improved rumen function and enhanced immune status. For dairy cows, these advantages support milk yield and quality along with improved plane of immunity. With calves, MCFA used in milk replacers and starter diets supports improved daily gain, feed conversion ratio and health status. In beef cattle, additional potential has been shown related to growth rate.
Along with the Nuscience delegation Canadian industry tour, the Biotica MCFA technology will be showcased at upcoming industry events including the CBS Inc. North American Nutrition Summit May 13 and the industry-wide Animal Nutrition Conference of CanadaMay 14-16, with both events in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
About Nuscience. Nuscience approaches the animal feed industry with two focused business units, Nutrition4U and Health4U. Nutrition4U by Nuscience is a range of young animal nutrition concepts, customized premixes and performing concentrates. Health4U by Nuscience, which includes the technology featured in Biotica, offers innovative additives and functional feed ingredients. The Royal Agrifirm Group, headquartered in the Netherlands, is a leading agricultural cooperative with an international network of subsidiaries in 16 countries within Europe, South America and Asia and a worldwide distribution network. Learn more on the Royal Agrifirm website.