The Danish probiotic producer is launching the self-learning program to improve industry understanding of probiotics. Freely accessible to all, the company said the course is ideal for feed industry nutritionists and veterinarians.
Participants in the program can get an insight into the knowledge that Chr. Hansen’s animal health and nutrition experts have gathered from decades in the lab and on farms, said the company.
The educational initiative is designed to work around the time constraints familiar to busy professionals; each lesson takes only 15 minutes or less to complete, it said.
Probiotic mode of action
The company said modes of action of probiotics can be categorized into three major groups:
- Interaction with feedstuffs
- Interaction with other microorganisms and
- Interactions with the host
“The modes of action described are backed up by sound science, developed over decades of research and the latest technology. By knowing how probiotics work, nutritionists and veterinarians will be better able to use them to benefit their clients and the animals under their care and feel more confident about their choices and recommendations. At the same time, they will strengthen their professional knowledge and profile,” said Marcelo Lang, global marketing director, animal health and nutrition, Chr. Hansen.
When asked how neutral the education program is going to be, Lang told FeedNavigator:
“The program is neutral as the modes of action are the same for all probiotics. However, we do emphasize and explain that not all bacteria produce the same effects. Strain matters, meaning that different varieties of the same species of bacteria may have markedly different effects in the animals.
“Throughout the course, we show examples and data from our collection of probiotic bacteria. Some of the assays used to study the modes of action are proprietary to Chr. Hansen. However, we don’t mention any commercial product names and try to remain neutral and balanced in tone throughout the series.”
Was this initiative prompted by feedback from the feed industry as to their lack of understanding of mode of action of probiotics or did the idea come from within the marketing team at Chr. Hansen?
“The program was born out of interest and questions we receive frequently from veterinarians and nutritionists, asking to clarify how probiotics work in the animal.”
He shared some questions the company had received previously in this respect:
A poultry veterinarian in the US commented: “We've tried some different probiotics, but it’s still difficult to know which one to use. Understanding how these products work is important to me.”
A US swine nutritionist in the US asked the producer: “Do you know the reason for this biological effect? Having some data showing the biological mechanism for the performance effect increases my interest in your product."
Lang also stressed the interactive nature of the course:
“After each lesson, there is a quiz of two or three questions to reinforce the main points and check the participants' knowledge. Those who have specific questions will have the option to ask for a Ch. Hansen representative to contact them to discuss their questions or concerns.”