November 04, 2015

04/11/2015: Kemin assembles experts to share insights on critically important and challenging feed ingredients – oils and fats

While few would dispute that fats and oils are among the most important ingredients used in poultry and livestock feed in nutritional importance, it sometimes appears the feed industry leaves this precious diamond uncut when it comes to exposing its potential. That observation by Dr Chris Nelson, President and CEO of Kemin Industries, set the stage for an educational panel on the very topic at a conference in the jewel city of Antwerp, followed by a visit to the Kemin Innovation and Technology Centre in Herentals.

Oils and fats continue to rank among the most prevalent ingredients used in feed – yet the variance in the makeup makes it challenging to know how to manage for improved animal performance, meat quality, and profitability. That’s why Kemin assembled a panel of experts to discuss the impact of lipids in animal nutrition for a worldwide audience of animal nutritionists. The insights ranged from overall market dynamics, to how to evaluate quality of lipids, to how to choose what feed additives improve fat digestion, and absorption of nutrients.
Antwerp (Image: Harshil Shah)
Price of Oil
“If you are able to manage raw material price volatility in your business, you are the winner,” stated Nan-Dirk Mulder from Rabobank as he began sharing insights on the world market for oils and fats.

He went on to make the case that if producers and nutritionists are able to manage raw material price in relation to the global production of vegetable oils and biodiesel they will do well. Twenty percent of the soya, rapeseed, and palm oil production go into biodiesel and governments have softened their demand on biodiesel, which puts less pressure on the prices of vegetable oils.

He demonstrated the correlation between the crude oil price and the price evolution of vegetable oils. Over the last years, the major production growth was seen for rapeseed and palm oil, whereas production levels for other oils remained fairly stable. From a global outlook, the demand side for oils and fats is expected to grow at a slower pace in the next 10 years (from 2015 – 2025) as the 10 previous years, however significant fluctuations on a short-term basis are still expected.

Quality of Oil and Fat
A wide-range of oil and fat sources are used in the feed industry, making it critical to understand and properly evaluate the quality of lipids, both nutritionally and oxidatively, according to professor Gerald Shurson, University of Minnesota, USA, who presented data on the variability which exists in both the nutritional composition and oxidative quality between oil samples. Using nutritional models such as the Wiseman Equation, the difference in the actual and the theoretical estimated apparent metabolisable energy (AME) value can be demonstrated. This can vary in some situations and cause an underestimation of the feed energy level up to 50 kcal / kg of feed. 

Similarly, there exists a large variation in the oxidative status between oils and fats. Prof Shurson presented data where the impact of lipid peroxidation on average daily gain, feed intake, and feed efficiency was correlated. Antioxidants have been shown to be critical in order to delay the oxidation and preserve the quality of lipids. A key conclusion and call to action from Prof Shurson was to have quality parameters in place and to monitor the nutritional status, as well as the oxidative quality, of lipids used in the feed industry.

Impact of Different Lipids
Prof Ravindran, Massey University, New Zealand, reviewed how different lipid characteristics influence fat digestion and absorption. He explained that the degree of saturation, the content of free fatty acids, the chain length of constituent fatty acids and contaminants, the position of the fatty acid on the triglycerides are all factors that affect the energy value - as well as the age of the animal. The Wiseman Equation brings these numerous parameters together into one general equation to accurately estimate the AME of the fat. Prof Ravindran also included insights and reminders on other nutritional factors that influence lipid digestion, such as calcium.

Key Tools and Recommended Additive
Dr Ing Matias Jansen, animal nutrition and health division of Kemin in Europe, took the discussion to the practical and actionable side by reviewing the tools nutritionists have to improve fat digestion. Dr. Jansen explained that in order to improve fat digestion, one needs to evaluate how nutritional additives can improve all steps in the lipid digestion process, including lipid emulsification, lipid hydrolysis, and micelle absorption. Scientific data derived from a complete fat digestion model was presented on how three classes of additives (synthetic emulsifiers, lecithins, and lysolecithins), to different degrees impact the emulsification, hydrolysis, and absorption step.

Only lysolecithins significantly improved all three steps in the lipid digestion process. Trial results on the natural biosurfactant LYSOFORTE®, which is based on a specific mixture of lysolecithins, were workshopped in a meta-analysis on a global basis. This analysis took into account variations in diet related factors, different lipid sources used in the feed formulation, different rearing conditions, and variations in animal age. Overall conclusions are that LYSOFORTE significantly improves crude fat digestion and an AME value between 50 – 90 kcal/kg could be attributed. Therefore Dr Jansen stated that Lysoforte is a proven tool that gives nutritionists the opportunity to improve and optimise lipid digestion and consequently reduce feed costs.

Quality Feed, Quality Meat
Professor SF Sarge Bilgili, Auburn University, USA, made the link between animal feed and poultry meat quality. Consumers have several requirements for poultry meat and freshness, taste, and quality rank very high. Along with these high standards, the market is evolving from a fresh meat market to a convenience food market where ready-prepared meals are becoming more important. Consequently shelf life expectations of the meat are also changing. 

Regardless, quality starts with feed. The ‘nutrition’ given to the animals has a significant impact on the quality characteristics of the final poultry meat. Prof. Bilgili presented several studies that demonstrate the impact lipid quality (fresh versus oxidised oil), utilised in broiler feed production has on meat quality, including both oxidative parameters as well aroma, flavor of the meat, and subsequent shelf life upon storage. The meat derived from broilers fed oxidised oil showed on average 30-50 percent higher values in the meat TBA as the oxidation parameters from breast muscle derived from broilers fed a regular oil. Similar differences were obtained in drip loss and oxidative parameters upon storage between these two treatments.

Key Conclusions 

  • Fats and oils rank among the most important ingredients used in poultry and livestock feed both in volume consumed and in nutritional importance.  
  • Oils and fats are highly-valuable ingredients often under evaluated and leveraged in animal nutrition. 
  • Profit gain can be brought to the industry by understanding the factors affecting fat and oil quality and managing nutritional impact. 
  • Lipid composition and quality should be well characterised to manage variations and ensure the highest performance results. 
  • Nutritional tools such as, LYSOFORTE, have proven their efficacy to optimise the utilisation of fats and oils and reduce feed costs.
Kemin assembled a panel of experts to share insights on oils, fats and lipids in animal nutrition with the end goal of helping producers and nutritionists lower feed costs while increasing nutrition and meat quality. Pictured (L-R): Dr Chris Nelson, President and CEO of Kemin Industries; Prof SF Sarge Bilgilli, University of Auburn; Prof Ravi Ravindran, Massey University; Prof Gerald Shurson, University of Minnesota; Dr Matias Jansen, animal nutrition and health division of Kemin in Europe; Nan-Dirk Mulder, Rabobank and Riaan Van Dyk, Worldwide Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Kemin Industries.
Conference participants visited the Kemin Innovation and Technology Centre in Herentals, Belgium, to experience how important lab work is to the understanding of fats and oils.

Visit the Kemin website HERE.

The Global Miller
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