The China-headquartered ingredient company recently shifted part of its focus to work with feed ingredients.
We spoke with Elaine Yu, Layn's US president, to hear about the company’s launch of TruGro feed ingredients and its ongoing development plans during the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta in February.
“We’re looking at new areas,” she said. The company is maintaining its “core competencies,” which include natural extraction with a focus on quality and scientific documentation while moving into the new area.
Plant-based ingredients are seeing an increasing interest in animal nutrition, she said.
Layn Corp. has been working with plant-based food ingredients, including stevia and monk fruit, since the 1990s, she said. It opened its fourth-generation manufacturing facility in southern China in 2017, providing 10-times the production capacity.
"We’re looking to enter into the animal feed and nutrition market to get bigger volumes [leveraging that] capacity."
In addition to having manufacturing facilities in place, Layn has established a “fully integrated supply chain,” she said. That process starts with providing seedlings to contract farmers, buying back the biomass, purifying the material and doing technical control testing before shipping the product.
The entire supply chain is fully-traceable and transparent, she added.
Expansion into the feed market
The initial goal of the move into the animal nutrition market is to provide plant-based ingredients to producers interested in working with botanicals to address growth promotion – without antibiotic use – feed intake and gut health, said Yu.
The company’s product line includes ingredients focused on supporting gut health, antibiotic growth promoter replacement, antioxidants and palatability and sweeteners, the company said.
“Our botanical extracts, like stevia and monk fruit, could be used as alternative sweeteners to replace artificial sweeteners in the animal diet … and we have polyphenol-rich botanical extracts, which are good as antioxidants and for gut health,” she added.
The company also is reviewing its current ingredients to explore further applications in animal feed, she said.
The eventual goal is to provide blended or more complex products, said Yu.
“We’re working with universities and institutions globally and very experienced technical consultants in the industry to do new product development,” she said.
The company is first targeting the poultry and swine sectors – especially at the pre-starter and starter stages, she said. However, ruminant production also is an area of interest for the ingredients producer.
The markets focus at this point includes Europe and Latin America and there are plans to expand the product lines into the US followed by Asia, she said.