We caught up with Canadian Bio-Systems technical director, Rob Patterson, to talk about the company’s work with antibiotic-free production, sustainability and its future goals at IPPE last week in Atlanta.
Currently, the company is exploring use for two of its yeast-based feed additives in antibiotic-free production, he told us, and both have performed well in field studies. The products appear to improve gut health, growth and feed efficiency when used without antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs), said Patterson.
One is made from yeast autolysate or yeast cell-wall based, Maxi-Nutrio, and the other is an enhanced yeast product, Maxi-Gen Plus, containing nucleotides and other yeast technologies, he said.
“The yeast cell wall [additive] is working two ways, to bind and trap and get rid of pathogens and toxins and it’s also working, its stimulating tissue growth,” he said. “The other product, which is a combination of yeast technologies, we know that it’s having a prebiotic effect, and we also know that it has an effect on the growth of tissues in the animal.
“We know that it stimulates tissue recovery in the intestinal tract, and we know it’s working as a prebiotic to have a healthy microflora community,” he said. “So there are two modes of action going on with each product.”
The Calgary-based company also has been developing a multi-carbohydrase feed enzyme technology, said company officials. That work looks to develop additional nutrition from formerly indigestible feed ingredients.
The alternative production work started with the use of enzymes to improve health as well as nutrition, added Patterson. From there it was logical to look at the other benefits from the yeast products being developed.
The yeast-based additives have been applied and assessed in both poultry and swine, said Patterson. However, the company is now looking at establishing similar products for ruminants.
Additionally, future work will look at addressing challenges in feed and food hygiene, he said. The goal would be to find natural products that can be used to control pathogens, such as salmonella, without chemicals or the type of heat-treating that can damage feed quality.
“That’s going to be a future area for expansion,” he said.
Market and results
Research trials with both products are demonstrating that they can produce similar production to the use of antibiotic growth promoters, said Patterson.
The feed ingredients can be used to get similar growth performance, body weight and feed efficiency, he said. “We’ve run that in multiple feed studies, and we’re seeing that over, and over.”
“Normally when you take antibiotics out you’re sacrificing a little bit of performance, a little bit of growth and more feed efficiency, but we’re getting the same [results,]” he said.
The findings have helped the company in its sustainability work, he said, as the products reduce the need for antibiotic use while maintaining production.
“We’ve been looking at it in traditional growth performance type trials and studies, and we’re also looking at it in terms of disease challenge models as well,” he said of the research being done with both yeast products.
Both products are being marketed in the US and Canada, said Patterson.
The nucleotide product has been in progress for several years, he said. “Every year we get more efficiency data showing it works in traditional models and the new normal model, which is antibiotic-free.”
There has been a 15-20% growth in usage for the product, he said. The cell wall product has also seen steady growth.
“It’s going to get even bigger for those products, and companies playing in that field, because there will be no more growth promoting claims next year, so everyone is going to look for new products,” he said.