The annual International Production & Processing Expo is an exciting and busy affair, and one of the few truly global trade shows of its kind.
As such - and given it draws more than 30,000 delegates from across the food production industry - it serves as the perfect yardstick for trends and topics that are likely to influence the sector for the year ahead.
Here, we share five key insights from our time at IPPE.
1. Woody breast is still a major issue, but progress is being made
Woody breast continues to be a huge talking point in the US (and other countries) at the moment, with over 10 presentations at the Scientific Forum focusing on the issue by universities from the US, Brazil and China. The condition is impacting on all levels of the poultry production chain and so it's no surprise that many visitors came to our stand to seek information.
It was gratifying to be able to start giving some answers to the questions asked - because, whilst the exact cause of woody breast remains unclear, researchers are making significant strides in uncovering the potential of nutrition strategies to mitigate the effects.
Dr Tara York, AB Vista Technical Manager for the US, spoke to a number of IPPE delegates as well as ThePoultrySite.com about that challenge and says: “Although a novel concept, recent studies evaluating the impact of trace minerals and antioxidants in combination with feeding higher levels of phytase, suggest they may reduce the incidence and severity of woody breast.”
Dr Tara York is interviewed by ThePoultrySite.com at IPPE
2. Variability in raw materials brings challenges – and requires greater attention to avoid increased feed costs
It was evident from discussions at the event that many producers and feed manufacturers are feeling the pressure to optimise feed formulation, as feed costs continue to climb.
We were able to share information on recent advancements in near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy: the technology now offers a more in-depth analysis of raw materials, making it possible for nutritionists and producers to predict a wider range of parameters and make real-time, cost-effective decisions on reformulation.
Read more: Utilize NIR analysis to assist in reducing feed ingredient costs (recent AB Vista article in Feedstuffs)
3. There is increased interest in the benefits of xylanase
The event programme included a number of key topics relating to the cost of production – and indeed many delegates raised concern over managing the increased cost of production and the impact on profitability.
The rising cost of feed, coupled with the pressure for increased dietary energy utilisation, has led many nutritionists to revisit the value of analysing the non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) content within various feedstuffs used in poultry diets, for degrading enzymes.
We were able to share recent research into this arena, which is also presented in this technical video, in which Dr Pete Wilcock, Global Technical Manager at AB Vista, explains why selecting a xylanase that is capable of maximising the breakdown of arabinoxylans is key when selecting NSP-ases to use in swine diets.
4. Face-to-face is still the best
Technology and innovation are transforming the industry at a rapid pace, but the resounding message from delegates at the event was that face-to-face interaction is invaluable in terms of driving forward the discussion on nutrition strategies. IPPE provides a perfect platform for engaging with industry players on market challenges, business development, careers and new research.
AB Vista booth at IPPE was kept busy with formal and informal meetings, technology demonstrations, media interviews and networking
5. The future is in great hands
There was a great turnout from animal nutrition and science students at the event and the educational programmes proved to be particularly popular amongst this group. As a student sponsor, it was encouraging to meet the future industry leaders and provide them with the opportunity to engage with field experts at IPPE.
There is genuine excitement about the future of the industry given continued technological innovation and the potential that we saw in so many of the young people who attended the show.