The Toronto-based company introduced its halal pellet binder at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, Georgia at the end of January.
Cra-Vac Industries focuses on developing feed ingredients and binders for use in feed and pellets globally. The company also works with feed producers to improve the manufacturing process.
The development of the pork-product-free binder stemmed from an interest in expanding the company’s market reach and addressing an identified market need, said Ann-Marie Anderson, president with Cra-Vac Industries Inc. The initial market focus for the halal binder will be countries in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and those with a large Muslim population.
“One of our products … is called Protein-Plus – it’s a pork-based gelatin binder,” she told FeedNavigator. “It’s an excellent product but it has limitations – there are a number of countries you can’t enter with a pork-based product.”
However, as countries with large Muslim populations see an improved standard of living and increased demand for animal-based protein products, there is a market need for animal feed that does not include pork ingredients, she said. “They’re looking for more meat [and] there’s a lot more production going on there in countries such as Bangladesh and Egypt,” she added.
“These countries are very strong and looking for new products,” she said.
Developing an alternative binder
The pork-free binder is a reformulated version of a continuing company product, Protein-Plus, said Anderson. “It is going to be a ruminant base and the other product has a pork base,” she added.
However, it handles and is used the same way as other binding ingredients, she said. “It’s just that its source is a little different that’s all,” she added.
It also can be used in any type of pelleted feed, not only poultry feeds, she said.
Work on creating the new version was done with partners in Egypt, she said. The product is also set to be manufactured in the Middle Eastern region to meet market needs.
Although introduced at IPPE, the binder is moving toward its commercial release, Anderson said.
“Our timeline is looking more like third or fourth quarter (of 2020),” she said. “We bought a piece of equipment from China and we’re waiting for it to come in and it will be two or three months before it comes in.”
Currently, a pork-free binder in common use in developing areas is polymethyl carbamide (PMC), she said. However, that ingredient can have some challenges including the potential for high free formaldehyde levels, dust generation, and its sticky nature can slow through-put in a feed mill.
“Its really strong benefit is its cost it is very cheap,” she added. “There are products that are cheap to buy and expensive to use.”
Cra-Vac’s in-development binding ingredient is being designed to not be dusty and have a high protein content, she said. “It’s nutritious, it’s not inert – a lot of other binders are completely inert whereas this binding has high protein it has that element to it,” she added.