‘Small scale trials with farmers is a good way to start’ - Anpario looks to crack the US market

Anpario looks to crack the US market

UK feed additives company, Anpario, sees huge potential for gut health products in the US as antibiotic growth promoters get phased out, but the firm says market entry ‘won’t be a quick fix’.

“We have to talk to a lot of people along the chain. However, you don’t focus initially on the big players in the US market. We are taking the sensible approach, recognizing that we have to generate locally produced data before we can persuade the large compounders to get on board,” Murray Hyden, director of biosecurity at Anpario, told us when we caught up with him at IPPE 2015 in Atlanta.  

Anpario is in talks with various US universities in relation to such data development, he said.

“But we reckon undertaking small scale trials with farmers is a good way to start – let the results speak for themselves. We have been meeting with US breeder, turkey and layer producers and our pig specialist has also been talking to farmers in the north,” said Hyden.

He said the US poultry industry is possibly the easiest of the sectors to break into as there are huge similarities between US and global production, but the pork side offers challenges.

“The US swine industry is focused on getting higher birth weights while European producers are targeting larger litter sizes and, of course, there is also the issue of the use of ractopamine in US pork production – we don’t as yet know how our products would interact with the beta agonist – they could work synergistically but we have to carry out the research,” said the biosecurity expert.

The first products in its additive portfolio to be targeted at the US market are Salkil, pHorce and Orego-Stim. “The strategy around which additives to push subsequently is, generally, based on how best a product fits in with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) GRAS approvals process."

Organic acids

Salkil, a combination of buffered formic and propionic acids in a carrier system, originally developed to minimize the threat of salmonella in poultry, is being given particular focus in Anpario’s attempt to gain traction in the US poultry segment.

It is one that has been backed up by significant trial work in the past few years.

“We are seeing a huge number of performance and health benefits from the use of this organic acid in birds.

"Early customer reaction on Salkil gave us the first indications that the additive was doing something beyond reduction of Salmonella Enteritidis levels.

"Poultry producers were noticing improvements in FCR and a reduction in mortality rates – outcomes not normally associated with a lowering of the S. Enteritidis load in the bird as it is not an infection that typically impacts performance,” said Hyden.

To understand why producers were seeing those types of improvements, the firm decided to hone in on the impact of Salkil on gut acid levels and gut bacterial flora in a trial with broilers in Mexico.

That study (1995) confirmed that the additive modified the pH levels in the gut, generating higher acid levels in the medium and lower portions of the small intestine and ceca-rectum, which favored the growth of commensal bacteria and prevented the colonization of pathogenic ones, and hence we saw a knock-on effect on feed intake, weight gain and feed conversion, as well as lower mortality.”

Fertility gains

A recent study, conducted by Anpario with the University of Sao Paulo evaluated the use of Salkil (2kg per ton) in broiler breeders, and, in particular, to check if there was any effect on progeny from breeders fed diets containing the additive. 

The results indicated the inclusion of the organic acid in the breeder diet resulted in a 5% hike in fertility by week 35 and a 2% increase at week 45. “Even a 1% fertility improvement would be beneficial for breeder producers,” said Hyden.

The chicks that hatched from Salkil fed parent stock at both 35 and 45 weeks were stronger and had significantly improved feed intake and weight gain with additional improvements in feed conversion, he added.

Hyden said an independent trial, carried out in 2013 by researchers based at the Department of Animal Science at the University of Mashhad in Iran, showed that supplementation with phytase and Salkil improved productive performance, bone mineralization, intestinal integrity, and the immune response of male broilers fed diets low in available phosphorous, while reducing the environmental impact associated with phosphorous output in the feces. 

“We only became aware of the results of that trial when we saw it published in Livestock Science but we are now working with the same Iranian team in relation to the effect of Salkil in E.coli challenge tests in poultry as well as gut morphology research."

China and Brazil focus

The company is also involved in generating local data on the use of its additives in pigs and other sectors through its subsidiaries in China and Brazil, the two markets it estimates to have the biggest growth potential in terms of meat production.  

Hyden said Anpario is really accelerating the R&D side of the business: “We were somewhat static for a while but as we continue to attract investors at a rapid rate, there is increased motivation in the company – this is translating into a hike in the number of trials being run globally - a focus, I believe, will pay dividends in the long term.”

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