Yesterday saw the German specialty chemical producer announce a new collaborative alliance with Dr Eckel, a family-run company with international operations founded by Dr Antje Eckel in Niederzissen, Germany in 1994.
Evoink can leverage that firm’s extensive R&D work and broad knowledge - spanning nearly 30 years - of plant substances and their interactions.
The partnership will see Evonik expand its animal nutrition gut health portfolio, which currently comprises various probiotics targeted at laying hens, broilers, and pigs, through the addition of the phytogenics product class, ingredients that are designed to work as alternatives to antibiotics in livestock farming.
"It often needs complex solutions to maintain health and productivity in the barn without antibiotics,” said Gaetano Blanda, head of the animal nutrition business line at Evonik. “In combination with our existing gut health solutions, phytogenics will help farmers achieve this goal.”
Standardized, specific and science-based combinations of bioactive compounds found in plants, phytogenics may have a high growth potential as components of animal feed, if recent industry deals are anything to go by.
Bigger players have been snapping up innovators in that space. In June last year, Cargill announced it was acquiring Delacon, following several years of collaboration with the Austrian firm. Markus Dedl, Delacon’s CEO, said then that the deal would enlarge the phytogenic additive producer's scope for future innovation and make its products more widely available. “Cargill and Delacon will accelerate the pace of innovation and drive strategic, long-term growth.”
In December 2022, the Adisseo group inked an agreement to acquire Nor-Feed and its subsidiaries, a French headquartered company producing plant-based specialty ingredients and plant extracts for animal nutrition.
Adisseo has worked alongside the plant extracts player since 2016, and the Shanghai Stock Exchange listed group said the investment is a key step for Adisseo in its strategy of developing specialty ingredients.
The two entities have identified synergies from the merger, in particular the further penetration of plant extracts in high growth markets where Adisseo is already well-established and has real legitimacy.