French natural feed carotenoid project still on track

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/ClaudioVentrella
© GettyImages/ClaudioVentrella
Additional in-vivo animal trials have again confirmed the effectiveness of a natural feed additive – a carotenoid compound derived from a Deinococcus bacteria host strain, says French biotech company, Deinove.

The trials were run under the Color2B strategic project, in which the Montpellier-based firm has been collaborating with French agribusiness giant, Avril, since August 2014. The strain in question was selected out of seven strains in total, based on its performance in on-farm animal trials, said the Montpellier headquartered developer.

The partners said the trials show the compound's performance is comparable to petrochemical derived carotenoid products in use today.

Reaching scale 

“The strain has been tested twice in in-vivo screening and proved bioavailable and effective, so much so that Avril has extended its use to several animal species. The challenge now is to scale up the compound to the industrial level. We are confident about that process given what we have achieved in terms of the scale up of a Deinococcus bacteria derived compound for the cosmetics market recently,”​ Emmanuel Petiot, CEO of Deinove, told FeedNavigator.

The Deinove scientific platform designed a Deinococcus fermentation process to deliver a carotenoid intended for use as a cosmetic active ingredient. It was launched last month, and  is a colorless carotenoid produced through natural sugars fermentation by Deinococcus geothermalis, an extremophile bacterium.

Petiot said the expertise available now at Deinove, after eight years of R&D work, is such that the company has mastered the production of strains deemed by industry to be impossible to cultivate. “Two to three years ago, we would not have been able to master the cultivation of such strains, but we can now.”

Development of natural alternatives to the standard petrolchemcial derived carotenoids is a very competitive business. Citing confidentiality restrictions, Anne Bourdillon, project manager for the Avril group, said she was not able to provide detailed disclosure about the Color2B program, but reported that it was still very much on track. “The next phase is all about fine turning the fermentation process.”

Salmon trials

She said the additive could be used in broiler and layer production and that trials evaluating its use in salmon production are set to get underway.

The regulatory process also looms: “This is radical innovation so registration will likely take some time, but it is a natural solution,”​ added Petiot.

Deinove, which has a strain bank comprising 6,000 rare bacteria and early 130 international patent applications, said its role in the Color2B project is about producing additives from its bacterial micro-factories, in an eco-friendly and economically viable way, while Avril is applying its expertize to feedstock selection and evaluation of the beneficial effects of the compounds for animals; it has extensive knowledge of the sector and associated regulations, and will market the technology.  

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