Precision laboratory testing is increasingly seen as a requisite in today’s feed formulating programmes. Confronted with high feed prices, producers are seeking to fine-tune diets and cut costs where possible. Precisely meeting nutrient requirements, however, is a difficult achievement as nutrient levels of feed ingredients can vary to various degrees and for a variety of reasons, ultimately impacting producer profitability on a daily basis.
In screening for nutrient variability, Near Infra Red Spectroscopy (NIR) has been proven to provide a rapid accept/reject answer for many ingredients and required nutrient levels in these ingredients.
Adisseo has specialized itself in recent months in offering specific NIR-related services under its Precise Nutrition Evaluation (PNE) programme; and at the French trade show SPACE 2012, the company unveiled its new real-time PNE web platform dedicated to its Rovabio® (enzyme range) and Rhodimet® (methionine) customers.
Feedinfo News Service spoke to Claire Relandeau, who is Technical Manager – Monogastric nutrition at Adisseo; and Cécile Gady, Manager of Research on Raw Materials and PNE Service; to find more about the cost savings that can be made using such a programme.
[Feedinfo News Service] In May this year, Adisseo announced it would offer a service combining Near Infra Red Spectroscopy and in vivo digestibility tests allowing the most precise characterisation of raw materials for monogastric feed. Can you provide me with an update on the service and with some customer feedback picked up since May?
[Claire Relandeau] After the announcement of the launch of our complete NIR offer Service based on in vivo digestibility tests, we officially launched our PNE service during the autumn at major European fairs such as SPACE in Rennes, France; and EuroTier in Hanover, Germany. Our customers appreciate the 24/7 availability of the service and the excellent turnaround time. Digestibility tests results usually take at least four weeks to arrive. With PNE results can be obtained within minutes.
[Feedinfo News Service] Can you summarise the 15 years of work the company undertook on NIR and in vivo data, which ultimately resulted in the creation of Precise Nutrition Evaluation?
[Cécile Gady] It all started in 1997 with the purchase of the first NIR spectrometer internally to complement our amino acid analytical service using HPLC. At that time, major R&D works were carried out to demonstrate the potential of the use of the digestible amino acids concept in formulating ration for monogastrics. Scientific investigations and collaborations made available and validated the in vivo methodologies to determine the digestibility of amino acids in caecectomized roosters and in pigs with ileo rectal anastomosis.
A few years later, we combined NIR techniques to in vivo measurement and we issued the first NIR databases and equations predicting the concentrations in total amino acids and the digestibility coefficients of amino acids of several animal by-products. Today, we are able to accurately predict such nutrients for more than 20 raw material used in monogastrics feeding within a NIR network of 250 NIR equipments. Over the last few years, alongside the development and the growth of our enzymes specialities, we have completed our PNE offer by developing prediction equations of the Apparent Metabolizable Energy for corn, wheat and soybean meal. The references values used to develop, validate and maintain our NIR equations are issued from yearly in vivo evaluation program using three week broilers experiments.
Our latest applications for the prediction of the Total and Phytic Phosphorus, allowed us to offer today our concept of “Precise Nutrition Evaluation” through the in vivo based determination of the most costly nutrients of the major raw material contributing to monogastrics feeding.
[Feedinfo News Service] The web platform was developed with the collaboration of Bruker and Foss, leading NIR equipment suppliers. Why was this crucial? Can you also provide details on the financial investment needed to set up the platform as well as the time and human resources involved?
[Cécile Gady] Up until now, we had a simplified web interface to deliver our service to some of our clients on a daily basis. A thorough analysis of its potentials and constraints followed by a detailed assessment of the use of the PNE service by our customers, prompted us to imagine a completely new approach and a web platform offering dedicated and personalized architectures and functions. At the time the project was initiated, we quickly identified that automating the delivery of the results through the PNE was a condition for the success of the project. This is the reason why we involved Foss and Bruker from an early stage. This approach has also enabled us to ensure the compatibility of our PNE web platform with most of their Near Infrared Spectrometers. We coordinated a very close partnership involving external experts specialized in the web architecture and also the different businesses in Adisseo throughout the world.
This facilitated the work of our teams in deploying our PNE web platform at our customers’
premises allowing them to benefit from an optimum use of the PNE service. Considering the sharp rises in raw material prices, we do believe that the feed sector will require more and more precise and relevant information with a real-time access. We opted for advanced and flexible web technologies to continue implementing and supporting new applications and functions that we are developing as well as those we will build in the future.
[Feedinfo News Service] DDGS can show a great variability in nutrient content and amino acid digestibility. How does PNE help optimize DDGS usage?
[Claire Relandeau] DDGS are excellent examples of complex feedstuffs. Their amino acid profiles not only depend on the raw materials used to produce bioethanol but also on the process. PNE can help in qualifying suppliers, based on the amino acid content really available to poultry or pig, as well as the metabolizable energy value. We routinely recommend using the digestible lysine content as the most sensitive parameter to identify potential drifts in DDGS quality. A better knowledge of DDGS helps to reduce safety margins in both nutrient specifications and inclusion rate, allowing substantial feed cost savings.
[Feedinfo News Service] Adisseo claims that Precise Nutrition Evaluation can bring an average saving of EUR 2 per tonne of feed. How is this cost saving calculated and achieved?
[Claire Relandeau] PNE allows savings at several steps of the feed mill organisation. It is a unique tool for the procurement to select the best qualities beside the standard specifications, and for the nutritionist to avoid an over-supply of nutrients (money waste) or under-supply of nutrients (performance decline).
A clear example is the choice of a soybean meal 48 ProFat. Specifications generally include not more than a maximum cellulose level, a minimum content of protein + fat (which is for a nutritionist just like mixing apples and oranges), and the country of origin of the meal. A recent internal survey showed that soybean meal 48 ProFat available in a country at a given period of time are very variable: a difference in digestible content of 4-5% plus a difference in metabolisable energy by 80 to 120 kcal/kg – can provide a cost advantage to EUR 5-10 per ton of feed. This is even higher than the value of EUR 2 calculated before this year’s huge increase in raw material prices.
[Feedinfo News Service] Other animal nutrition firms propose NIR analysis services, why should we turn to Adisseo and Precise Nutrition Evaluation? Would you say that your new web platform makes a significant difference?
[Cécile Gady] First of all, our new web platform is a prime interface opening a privileged relationship with the PNE users. We have a direct real-time access at any time to the analyses requested by our customers and to their results. Additionally, it has a key role as a link between Adisseo competences and teams improving significantly coordination, synergism and transversality, no matter where we are in the world.
The architecture of the PNE web platform is designed so that we can personalize and adapt it according to the needs of the users. Companies with a presence in the international market have laboratories or plants in different countries. They can thus give their users possibilities or not to access functions including local or aggregated results. For example, each client can configure its own criteria (raw material suppliers, origins, processing plants, process, etc …) and then use them with a view to refining the nutritional values, to surveying results and historic trends by means of graphic interfaces, or even to extracting data and related information. Graphics are intended not only to support raw material quality assessment but to also facilitate the interpretation of nutritional values. In particular, it is possible to compare one’s own results to Adisseo references issued from the in vivo evaluations or to get consolidated nutrient values about the raw materials which are traded on world markets.
Finally, because our service is now automated, the fact that we deliver amino acids and energy digestibility directly calibrated on in vivo measurement, makes a significant difference in how we offer the PNE service. We have reached a substantial step and we are able to continuously monitor the performance of our web platform. Having a quick access to results issued from the PNE has allowed users to consider new fields of application and uses.