The Austrian company is launching its Digestarom DC product at VIV Asia in Bangkok on 15-17 March. It said the additive results in improved palatability, enhanced digestibility and FCR, reduced intestinal challenge, and better animal product quality.
Michael Noonan, global product manager, phytogenics at Biomin, told us the company is in the middle of completing the dossiers for submission to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as part of the zootechnical registration procedure for Digestarom DC.
The firm is seeking validation of the product’s feed raw material digestibility enhancement capacity and its ability to improve animal performance overall.
“We are very positive about attaining a zootechnical authorization for Digestarom DC. One dossier is going in this month. We have conducted many trials - in Asia, in the US, and in Europe - to support the claims for the product, so we have generated a lot of data for both the piglet and broiler dossiers,” said the phytogenic lead.
The sensory additive registration route would tend to be use more often for botanical compounds in the EU.
However, Noonan said Biomin’s expertise in and success with EU mycotoxin registrations will support it in its efforts to get a zootechnical approval for the new phytogenic product. “On that basis, we will launch Digestarom DC in Europe in 2018,” he added.
Asia is first in terms of the international market roll out for the newly developed additive.
He said there are regulatory hurdles to overcome in some Asian countries in relation to such products, while in other markets like Thailand, there are no such barriers.
Biomin is also knee deep in getting data together to compile with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory guidelines ahead of a planned January 2018 launch in the US for Digestarom DC, he added.
The Latin American markets also beckon, though they are slightly more challenging as the migration away from antibiotics has not been so significant there. “Feed companies in South America are changing though, they are becoming more open to alternatives."
Biomin already has a dedicated sales team in Brazil for its mycotoxin product portfolio: “We have an easier route to market in that country as a result. It is all about creating awareness about phytogenics, and we are attending poultry and swine related events in April and August there respectively.”
The company is also taking part in the phytogenics focused conference at VIV Asia later this month, he said.
Top of the pile..
Recently, Biomin outlined its strategy to become the number one leader in the phytogenics space by 2020.
When asked how it will achieve that in the relatively short time-frame, Noonan said, “There are many players in the market. Biomin enjoys a sizeable share currently. However, for many of our competitors in the category, phytogenics are not core business, whereas we are heavily investing in the segment – in people, in products, in R&D, and in regulation. We are committed to the phytogenics business and it will be our science and data that gives us the edge – already we have 20 years’ experience in the space.”
He also flagged up the new encapsulation technology that Digestarom DC incorporates as a way of allowing the Austrian company to capture more phytogenic feed market share. That technology is designed to allow targeted release of specific phytogenic compounds throughout the digestive process.
As part of its efforts to reach market dominance in the category, and to try and more fully grasp the supply and demand dynamics for those feed products globally, Biomin conducted a survey of 1,140 stakeholders.
Those stakeholders included nutritionists, veterinarians, consultants, growers, owners and live production managers located in over 100 countries representing the feed, poultry and swine sectors.
“Some 67% of those respondents said they had experience with phytogenics, and 51% said they currently use them, while 16% [of the cohort] said they had used such products in the past but, now, do not,” explained Noonan.
Digestibility enhancement was the top motivation for using phytogenic feed additives.
Around 54% of respondents said enhanced feed efficiency or a better FCR was a reason they used phytogenics in feed. Others said they used them for their antimicrobial effects or gut health benefits.
Those who no longer use such products said it was because there was not enough commercial trial data or scientific studies, continued Noonan. “Also, 18% of respondents saw phytogenics as lacking consistency and efficacy. Others said they did not use such additives as they were not sure which products did what, and some respondents were concerned about extra costs or they said they were uncertain about what the ROI was from using phytogenics,” he added.
He said Biomin is looking now to capitalize on that uncertainty, by educating the industry, by filling in the data gaps and by continuing to invest heavily in phytogenics research and development work.