Gut health, rumen functionality and natural antioxidants – Cargill reveals additives strategy

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill talks gut health, rumen functionality and antioxidants

Related tags Milk

Cargill says it plans to triple its feed additive output by 2020 with the progressive global shift away from antibiotic growth promoters set to fuel such development.

“We anticipate the expansion in this segment will come about mainly through organic growth but we will remain open to all opportunities that will arise over the next five years and would not rule out moving in the direction of acquisitions to support such growth ambitions,”​ Gilles Houdart, marketing director of additives at Cargill Animal Nutrition, told FeedNavigator.

Governments worldwide are adopting regulations to control the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in feed, with Houdart noting a subsequent growing interest in products that promote gut health in countries like India, Korea and China.

Indeed, the Indian Medical Association this summer demanded legal measures to prevent the use of medically important antibiotics in livestock production and regulatory controls to govern their sale in that country.

Natural antioxidants

Such a trend is informing Cargill’s additive strategy, with Houdart revealing the company will soon release a new gut health orientated additive for pigs and a natural antioxidant product for the poultry sector in the coming months.

Its focus on natural antioxidants has moved beyond their mere usefulness as partial vitamin E replacers and instead researchers at the agribusiness giant are appraising their benefits in overall animal performance, particularly in the early life stage.

The increasing amount of data available now showing the multiple occurrence and synergistic interplay of mycotoxins in feed grains is also concentrating the minds of its additive development experts, who Houdart said are exploring ways to tackle this challenge.

Global authorizations

He says while a number of such feed additive projects are underway, the company has also been actively ensuring the integration of the Provimi portfolio, essentially to ensure product registration in all markets and that its nutritionists globally are fully up to the speed on the range.

In that context, the company has been backing up the efficacy of a digestibility enhancer from the Promote line, Amaferm, with peer reviewed studies to boost industry understanding of what the additive can do in order to make greater inroads into the dairy market.  

“It now has over 100 such publications demonstrating its benefits for rumen functionality and performance such as a 7% increase in milk production in early lactation and a 5% hike in feed efficiency in late lactation, better weight recovery after calving and a decrease in ketosis risk as well as better average daily gain for beef cattle,”​ he said.

German partnership

Cargill also recently teamed up with German feed producer, Trede und von Pein, on a project to boost milk production in German dairy farms. The two developed Rupromin Fiber, which the US company said is “a mineral concept built around Amaferm.”​ 

The additive is said to stimulate the rumen fungi and enables bacteria in the rumen to make better use of the forage intake to help improve the digestion of dry diets that can be difficult for lactating cattle to digest – such as grass and corn silage – and ultimately helps the cattle get the most out of their feeds so they can produce more milk. 

It was tested at Futterkamp, an independent German animal research institute, with Cargill saying two month trials found that dairy cattle that received the additive experienced a 30% increase in fiber digestibility and a nearly 5% increase in milk production, with no impacts on their body weight or body condition. 

Rupromin Fiber was also evaluated in a winter campaign at multiple farms in Germany, with the results mimicking those from the Futterkamp trials, added Cargill.

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