Example content

Food additives: a practical example of improving sustainability


Adisseo provides micro-ingredients for animal nutrition, aimed at improving feed efficiency and quality. They include amino acids (AA), enzymes and vitamins which can be used for raising chickens, pigs, ruminants and dairy products. These solutions make it possible to increase profitability, reduce greenhouse gases by reducing the consumption of energy resources, limiting organic waste from livestock farming and optimizing feed with less impacting raw materials. Adisseo analyzed how these products could improve sustainability – economic and environmental impact – in animal production by comparing 2 life cycle analyzes (LCA), in poultry and in dairy cows. Monogastric nutrition

Monogastric feeding

In monogastric nutrition, Adisseo offers solutions based on a “Feedase” approach. It treats the entire indigestible plant fraction of animal feed and improves overall feed digestibility, including metabolizable energy, digestible AA, available phosphorus, calcium and sodium. This is the first solution that combines the effects of 2 enzymes frequently used independently in poultry production:

  1. Phytaseswhich significantly increase the digestibility of minerals;

  2. Non-starch polysaccharide enzymesthat improve the digestion of nutrients in plant-based foods, allowing maximum value to be extracted from plant-based foods and reducing the need for animal-based foods.

An LCA was carried out to assess the difference in environmental impact of poultry production since it increases feed digestibility.

The study, carried out in Colombia with a poultry farming partner, aims to estimate, from the composition of the feed, the impact of 3 different diets:

  1. The first (Sc1) containing a typical enzyme and an appropriate food mixture, including animal by-products (ABP);

  2. The second (Sc2) optimizes with Adisseo enzymes following the Feedase approach (without ABP);

  3. The third (Sc3) optimizes with Adisseo enzymes following the Feedase approach (with ABP, maximum 2.5%).
    The results showed that feed optimization with the Adisseo enzyme blend, with less expensive raw materials, can reduce feed cost without impacting performance through improved feed digestibility. Additionally, optimization with less impactful ingredients resulted in a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of the two optimized diets, from -14% to -28% CO2 eq/kg of meat, compared to the control.

Methionine increases longevity

In ruminants, especially in dairy production, it has become critical to increase feed efficiency to reduce both feed cost and excretion into the environment. In fact, ruminants transform only part of the nitrogen they ingest, on average 25%, up to a maximum of 45% into milk proteins. The remaining part is excreted through faeces and urine into the environment, causing environmental problems such as acidification and eutrophication. Today, it is important to improve the efficiency of nitrogen use. In fact, several farm modifications, such as AA balancing, can help with this. In this regard, the scientific literature shows that methionine is generally the first limiting essential AA for dairy cows and that its deficiency leads to suboptimal milk production, increased likelihood of metabolic disorders and poor reproductive performance. Thus, it is recommended today to balance not for protein requirements but for AA requirements. One of the proposed solutions is Smartamine M, a methionine coated with a specific pH-sensitive polymer that protects AA during its passage through the rumen, ensuring its release in the abomasum and its absorption in the small intestine. At least 2 different aspects of durability are improved by balanced AA diets. First, foods with a high carbon footprint can be replaced. Second, by increasing the efficiency of nitrogen use, it is possible to decrease nitrogen emissions to the environment. Additionally, providing cows with the necessary methionine increases longevity and health. Also, the income to cost of feed (IOFC), which is beyond sustainability, will be increased or maintained. Balancing AA-based rations contributes to both farm income and sustainability.

Figure 1 – Overview of ruminant trial results.

Experimental trial

A recent demonstration of the effectiveness of this approach was carried out in Brittany as part of the SOS Proteins Programme. This experimental trial investigated how to increase the effectiveness of metabolizable proteins. To achieve this, the N load was reduced by reducing soybean meal in the diet and by balancing the amino acid profile in the diets of lactating dairy cows. From that point live and from a prediction model based on a meta-analysis carried out with AgroParisTech and INRA, a cradle-to-farm LCA was carried out taking into account the potential effect of methionine on milk quality, milk production, animal health and reproduction. The main effect is a 1.3% increase in milk production, with an improvement in milk quality (3.6% in protein and 0.5% in fat). Therefore, the IOFC increased by 9.7% with power optimization (Figure 1).
Balancing AAs is beneficial not only from an economic perspective, but also because it uses fewer high-impact feedstocks and results in less nitrogen loss to the environment. The result is a more efficient power supply with a lower carbon footprint (from -14% to -49% CO2 eq per kg of FPCM).

Contribute to sustainable animal production

Sustainability is a priority for Adisseo and the main objective is to help farmers produce more with less. To achieve this, it is necessary to increase feed efficiency through feed optimization. The use of feed additives, which help to increase feed digestibility, or balancing AAs to reduce N loading in the feed, may be essential to improve efficacy. These two LCAs have shown that feed additives and feed optimization can help farmers not only increase profitability but also reduce environmental impact and contribute to more sustainable animal production.

Source link