AmSure, one of those newly introduced products, was tested in a field trial in 2021 on a poultry farm located in the southwestern part of the US. It is designed to optimize intestinal health and economic performance.
Run under a confidentiality agreement, the company is limited in what it can report on the findings but Heath Wessels, Amlan’s director of sales for the US, commented: “We saw a great response from the birds fed AmSure in regard to growth rate, FCR and livability.”
Other products the producer launched at the Atlanta trade show include Sorbiam, a single ingredient feed additive for optimizing gut health; Ambio-P and Ambio-S, formulated to support intestinal strength, in poultry and swine, respectively; and Enterotec, a formulation based on phytochemicals, designed to support normal intestinal integrity and function as chemical and ionophore compounds are removed from animal diets.
“The reception for those products was great. We had two oral presentations at the International Poultry Scientific Forum (IPSF) 2022, the technical conference held in conjunction with IPPE, along with two posters that highlighted the Amlan technology, the basis on which those products were built.
“The US products are targeted initially at the poultry market, but we are also actively pursuing swine, ruminant, and the companion animal markets with that portfolio,” said Dr Wade Robey, vice president, marketing, and product development, Amlan.
The company follows a very structured development approach. “We have an R&D team in Chicago, what we call our innovation campus, that discovers and does the initial proof of concept for our new products, which means we conduct in-vitro and in-vivo studies with recognized universities and contract research organizations and then we work hand in hand with our customers as they validate our products in their operations, with better body weight, improved conversion and lower mortality some of the targeted performance parameters,” he told us.
Amlan’s parent company is Oil-Dri Corporation of America, a global manufacturer and marketer of sorbent minerals. "We are kind of different to other companies coming into the space. That vertical integration, the control over the product we mine, process, and bring to the market, enables better product quality, better consistency, better sustainability, and that is the bedrock."
Oli-Dri mines a very specific mineral clay, calcium montmorillonite. Amlan processes that in a proprietary way to give it its efficacy, according to Robey.
The clay is the backbone of its products. “But we also bring in other types of formulated products into our clays as we broaden our portfolio, components classically understood to bring value in a gut health solution strategy – yeast, MCFAs - that can complement the base mineral clays’ efficacy in order to have the broadest type of solution set possible.”
The mode of action of various types of clay minerals is very well established in the literature, he added. “It is the structural components of that clay and its ability to adsorb or absorb various elements within the feed or the animal's gut that would be harmful to the animal.”
The US producer already has an existing portfolio of products targeted at key international markets such as Latin America, Southeast Asia, and China. Like other feed additive companies, in terms of claims around its products, it has to navigate the different regulatory requirements worldwide.
“We have to follow a certain approach in how we represent or brand our products in the marketplace. In the international arena, with a lot of the countries we target, there is the ability to make broader claims in relation to mycotoxin binding and pathogen binding, for instance. In the US, it is somewhat more limited,” commented Robey.
Its product claims in the US would tend to be focused on improving gut health and performance and maximizing or optimizing the microbial ecology of the bird. “While there is different positioning around the products, globally, they are all based on our core mineral.”
Increasing market share in Asia
Amlan has also invested to expand its footprint in key global markets to support livestock producers and integrators.
It recently appointed eight sales, marketing and technical employees to its staff in China. And it also boosted the capabilities of its three logistics centers, located strategically within that country, to meet increased demand.
The company established its China subsidiary, Amlan Trading (Shenzhen) Company, Ltd in 2013 and subsequently added logistic warehouses in Tianjin, northeast China; Shenzhen in the southeast; and Chongqing in the southwest. The supply hubs, it said, allow Amlan to quickly adjust to shifting product demands within the country.
“China is our key development area. We are not only focusing on poultry in that market, and that is why we hired a very diverse team there. We grew the China business by more than 35% last year. We believe this market is going to be a huge part of our business going forward,” Fred Kao, vice president of global sales at Amlan, told us.
Over the past two years, Amlan has also grown its team of technical, sales and marketing professionals in the wider Asian region.
The swine market in Vietnam and the Philippines is, evidently, on the company’s radar, added Kao. And the pet nutrition market in Thailand is already one that Amlan has been tapping into.
Restrictions on the use of antibiotic growth promoters and ionophores were implemented in Indonesia in early 2020, a development the US company can leverage. “Indonesia has a huge population, the fourth highest in the world, and poultry consumption is significant. We have a subsidiary in Indonesia to increase our market share in that country.”