Adisseo is committed to helping the feed industry to find scientific and technical solutions to current field challenges by offering 1M€ over the next three years to support two to three collaborative research projects to address those feed industry challenges.
The Scientific Committee composed of Academic Professors and Feed Industry Representatives has selected the most relevant Feed Industry Challenges to address and is responsible for selecting the best research projects to support.
Pre-proposal Grant applications are open until June 30th, 2021. The pre-selected Research Projects will be announced by end July 2021 and the full dossier will have to be submitted by mid-September 2021 for a final selection by the Committee and an announcement of the Laureates by Mid-October.
All those challenges and research proposals will concern Poultry and Swine. Ruminants and Aqua species will not be part of this first call for research projects.
Among all the issues faced by the Feed Industry, the scientific committee has selected 5 main challenges encountered by the animal protein production value chain and detailed below. The proposals might address one or more of those challenges. All those challenges faced by the feed industry are inter-connected and can be addressed from different research angles.
Among those challenges, improving the sustainability of animal protein production and reducing its environmental footprint as well reducing medication and avoiding the usage of antibiotics are of great concern whatever the environmental conditions, including hot ones. Enlarging the range of potential feedstuffs not directly consumed by humans, or as co-products of the food industry, will also improve sustainability. With the rapid growth of the animals, it is important to prepare the animals as early as possible.
Enhancing the sustainability of animal protein production is a major challenge for the future of our planet. Better nutrition programs will help reduce its environmental impact: reduction of the carbon footprint, decrease in nitrogen and phosphorus outputs, lower water footprint, etc. A global approach is becoming increasingly necessary, for example by reducing dietary protein levels, adjusting amino acid supplements, modifying animal phase feeding, extracting the maximum value of raw materials, and so on.
The proposed research will investigate the impact of reducing antibiotic use on animal performance, physiology, metabolism, and so on. The objective will then be to identify strategies for restoring animal performance without medication, by means of a better nutrition program. The scientific investigations could be based on a study of the nutritional requirements that could change when medications are reduced (specific needs of amino acids, for example) and on the identification of new nutritional approaches and their impact on microbiota and animal resilience.
In most countries, monogastric nutritionists work with a rather small variety of feeds. To improve sustainability and secure future developments, it will be important to consider local raw materials, co-products of new food industry developments, etc. A better understanding of the characteristics of those new raw materials will define their nutritional value, limits and constraints, to enable their adaptation for feed formulation. Considering the impact of those raw materials on microbiota and how they will be used by the microbiota will also help define their correct nutritional values. As an example, fibers are important to gut function and should, therefore, be balanced between their nutritional components and their health value.
In order to facilitate the use of those raw materials, quick and easy methodologies should be developed to assess the quality of raw materials.
Optimizing the cost of feed by means of new raw materials should also consider their impact on animal welfare and performance. The tools used for quality investigation will also have to incorporate those aspects.
In their first days of life, livestock animals face multiple challenges: birth, maternal separation, first feeding and transportation. It is critical to find ways to reduce early mortality but also to give animals a good start for their future welfare, health and growth, thereby optimizing the entire production chain. The starter and pre-starter phases could represent an important part of the lifecycles of poultry and piglets, justifying increased investments in the early phase, so as to prepare poultry and piglets for subsequent challenging conditions. The objective of this early phase might not be to stimulate growth but rather to focus on the optimal development of important functions for the rest of the animals’ lives.
During heat stress, several adaptive strategies are used to dissipate excess heat, such as the reduction of feed intake and changes in protein and lipid metabolisms. As a result, most nutritionists have enhanced fat supplementation and decreased protein content, to reduce the heat increment and stimulate feed intake. Those strategies fail to restore animal performance under hot conditions, so it will be important to reconsider the metabolic and physiological changes induced by heat exposure, in order to define optimal nutritional strategies. Moreover, heat exposure is known to exacerbate oxidative stress, leading to consequences on gut health, including the immune response of the animals and the quality of the end products.
In addition to funding, the selected projects will be supported by our scientific committee throughout the duration of the research program.
The academic part of the committee will be composed by:
Markus Rodehutscord is a professor of animal nutrition at the Institute of Animal Science at the University of Hohenheim, in Germany.
To date, Markus has supervised 31 doctoral candidates and co-written 190 original peer-reviewed journal publications.
The Poultry Science Association honored him with the American Feed Industry Association’s Poultry Nutrition Award in 2017.
Mike Kidd earned his doctorate at North Carolina State University, with a concentration in animal nutrition and immunology. Prof. Kidd is a renowned author on amino acids in poultry feed. He has published more than 400 research articles and supervised 38 graduate students in poultry nutrition and health. Mike Kidd has been invited to speak at more than 100 international venues in 39 countries. He was recognized as the Poultry Federation’s Industry Leader of the Year in 2014.
Prof. Yuming Guo is a poultry nutritionist and Changjiang Scholar Distinguished Professor at China Agricultural University. His scientific research pertains to nutrition, immunity and health, the nutritional assessment of chicken feed and the nutritional needs of chickens. He is currently the deputy director of the National Feed Evaluation Committee of China and a member of the Technical Committee of China Feed Industry Standards.
Prof. Richard Ducatelle is a veterinarian with a doctorate in veterinary pathology from Ghent University.
He was a scientific advisor to the Belgian government from 1984 to 1989 and has been a Professor in Veterinary Pathology at Ghent University since 1989. His research primarily centers on gastrointestinal health, with a focus on poultry. In total, Prof. Richard Ducatelle has supervised more than 20 doctoral dissertations in that research area.
Prof. Nilva Sakomura holds a doctorate in poultry nutrition from the Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Brazil. She did her post-doctoral studies at the University of Arkansas until 2001. Her main areas of interest are the assessment of feed ingredients and additives for poultry. Prof. Nilva Sakomura also works on modeling the nutritional needs of poultry. In total, she has supervised more than 34 doctoral dissertations in that field of research.