“We have been actively following the US market, it is one that has experienced rapid change in the past three years. We see plenty of opportunities there. In terms of the route to market strategy, we have been gathering commercial data on Aloapur from the EMEA region, and through the Corbion meat business, we have direct access to the big integrators and feed millers in the US, access that can support the generation of commercial pig and broiler data locally,” Nico Kors, sales director, animal health market, Corbion, told us.
Aloapur contains lactylates, esters of lactic acid bound to medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
“The MCFAs we are using are C12, which is lauric acid and C14, which is myristic acid. The reason why we selected those MCFAs is we determined, during in-vitro trials, that when MCFAs are converted into lactylates, they become much more effective against gram-positive bacteria, compared to C12FA, and especially compared to C14FA. The lactylates are also less pH dependent. We saw that, even at a pH of 6.5, the lactylates were still very effective in our in-vitro trials,” explained Evelien Jochems, business development manager.
Corbion always recommends combining Aloapur with ingredients that are effective against gram-negative bacteria in order to give producers the full spectrum of pathogen control, she said.
The company has a long history of using lactylates, serving the food and cosmetics industries for decades. Its application in animal nutrition is more recent, with Aloapur launching in 2015, said Kors.
The product has gained significant market exposure in the monogastric sectors in the Benelux, in France, and in Southern and Eastern Europe, he added.
US swine sector ripe for solutions
Some US poultry integrators are currently testing Aloapur in broilers, reported Jochems.
“However, I think there is a big opportunity in the swine sector in the US. While the ‘no antibiotics ever’ (NAE) program is well known in the US broiler segment, there are fewer solutions available for the US swine sector to help it move away from antibiotics. It is really only niche segments of the US swine sector that are currently antibiotic-free. So it will be interesting to see what we can explore over there, as our product has been shown to be effective in-vitro against [pig pathogen] Streptococcus suis.”
Even if the NAE label is well-established in the broiler segment in the US, Jochems noted challenges for the sector such as the fact that Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is still a big issue, undermining bird welfare and the economic performance of the US chicken industry overall.
Eventually, Corbion would look to access Mexico and South American countries with Aloapur. “Those markets tend to follow production trends in North America,” said Kors.
Asia is also on the cards, but the real focus, right now, is on developing the US market, he stressed.
Aloapur can be used in feed for sows, pre and post farrowing, in weaning piglets, and in fattening pigs, the full gamut of poultry production and in rabbits, veal and also has aquaculture applications.
The ingredient has a very neutral odor, due to the manufacturing process, and it is easily applied in feed - it can be directly incorporated into all premix and compound feed processes, said Jochems.
"Formulated as a free-flowing powder with a diatomaceous earth carrier, it does not encounter issues during the manufacturing process or when being transported to warmer countries, compared to competitor products that can have a tendency to lump under hotter temperatures, resulting in wasted product.”