Chinese poultry market on Evonik's radar

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Evonik is to introduce its recently developed poultry probiotic product to the Chinese market.

The German chemical company is using the China Feed Expo in Fuzhou as the launch pad for the product, GutCare PY1.

The chemical firm entered the US market with the probiotic in January this year.

Evonik said it will also launch GutCare PY1 in India in the coming months, and added that, by the end of 2018, its goal is to be present in every Asian country with at least one probiotic.

December 2016 saw Evonik end its probiotic collaboration with Danish producer, Chr. Hansen, in the Asia Pacific region, citing plans to develop markets for its own probiotic feed additives instead.

Peter Freisler, head of gut health solutions at Evonik, last month told us that demand is increasing for probiotics in Asia, particularly as regulatory pressures take hold. “The authorities in Vietnam are planning to prohibit the use of antibiotic growth promoters from July 2017 onwards.”

Gorm Bang Madsen, senior director, commercial development, animal health and nutrition at Chr. Hansen said certain APAC countries such as South Korea and Australia are more mature than other markets when it comes to the use of probiotics in feed. “There is a lot of momentum in those markets - but we also see plenty of opportunities in China and Southeast Asia,” he told us in January.

The legislation and the commercial environment in South Korea and Australia has been conducive to good take up of feed probiotics, but as policymakers and producers in the rest of APAC begin to question the use of antibiotics in livestock production, demand for alternatives will grow in other countries, he said.

In terms of current feed market penetration, he reckons 10 to 15% of all production animals in the APAC region have “come in contact with a probiotic”.

GutCare PY1 contains the strain Bacillus subtilis DSM 32315. The direct fed microbial is said to have a positive impact on the healthy balance of bacteria populations in the chicken gut, particularly under stressful conditions, with Evonik saying it initiated a multi-parameter selection process to screen more than 500 strains of the bacterial type Bacillus subtilis for probiotic properties.

Evonik said different scientific in-vitro as well as in-vivo studies demonstrated the ability of Bacillus subtilis DSM 32315 to modify the gut microbiota to inhibit the conditions that encourage different necrotic enteritis outbreak isolates.

Chicken gut modeling

In addition to product development, Evonik said it is also focusing on deciphering the mechanisms of the chicken gut. Its new simulation model is aimed at helping to describe the interactions between nutrition, the immune system and the intestinal microbiota in vitro with the aim of reducing knowledge gaps as well as informing further probiotic and feed additive development at the firm.

Dr Emmanuel Auer, head of the animal nutrition business, Evonik, spoke to FeedNavigator about the model last year:

“We are planning to use the [gut simulation] model to analyze the pathogen inhibition capability of feed additives as well as development candidates. However, as for any model, the results have to be confirmed in vivo finally. Nevertheless, we will speed up our development by focusing and limiting the in vivo challenge tests on those development candidates which have performed in the model.”

He acknowledged that any such model would have limitations. “However, without modeling it will become extremely challenging to understand and improve any metabolic system to understand the mode-of-action and tailor the corresponding innovation. Hence, we have the ambition to improve and validate the system continuously to be very close to reality. The major advantage of this model will be the flexibility to adapt the system to region and customer specific diets, pathogens and further environmental factors.”

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