Science to play key role in response to new challenges in mineral nutrition

Published Thursday, 25th August 2016
Science to play key role in response to new challenges in mineral nutrition

The industry must adopt a science-based approach to re-evaluating nutrition strategies, particularly in light of proposed European Union limits on Zinc and Copper in animal feed, according to AB Vista.

The call comes after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) proposed reducing the level of copper from 170mg/kg to 25mg/kg in piglets, in order to limit excess minerals in animal manure. Limits to zinc are also being proposed.

Juan Ignacio Fernández, Sales Director West & South Europe, AB Vista, says the proposed new limits signal that environmental concerns remain a priority in the EU and other markets. He adds that if these proposals are implemented, the industry must find a way to maintain efficient and high-quality animal production.

“It is clear that we need to examine our feed and nutrition strategies to ensure we can address environmental concerns, and meet the needs of the production chain. This is an important balance to address – particularly because lowering the trace element levels in isolation could impact animal health and productivity.”

In achieving this balance, the latest scientific research – particularly in respect of the role of phytate and its interactions with trace element absorption – should not be underestimated, he adds.

“Interestingly, EFSA acknowledged that the inclusion of the feed enzyme phytase in swine diets increases the availability of zinc in some feedstuffs.”

Mr Fernández hopes one such opportunity to discuss recent scientific developments in this area is at the upcoming International Phytate Summit (IPS3). Convened by two academic institutions (University of Illinois and the Centre of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas) and AB Vista, the summit will bring together a group of experts on phytate.

With a theme of The Value Chain of Phytate Destruction, the summit, to be held in the US in November 2016, aims to advance the scientific understanding of phytate, and the complex and varied role it plays in nutrition.

“Our understanding of feed ingredients and animal digestion and biology has increased considerably in the past few years, and it’s important that such academic advancement is translated into innovative real-world solutions.”

Mr Fernández says the summit will combine the latest academic research with specific trends and approaches to feed formulation.

“The IPS3 agenda and discussions will focus on strategies for formulating with minerals in the presence of phytate, with the aim of understanding how phytate nutrition can influence the economics of animal production.”

Of particular interest to European producers, Patrick Schlegel of Agroscope, Switzerland will be presenting on ‘The role of phytate in formulating diets for trace minerals’, he added.  

IPS3 is a closed academic event, however follow-up meetings will be held in different regions throughout 2017.

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Online Feed Fibre Calculator

Calculate the percentage of dietary fibre in your feed

Our calculator is designed for nutritionists and uses averages of global raw materials to calculate the dietary fibre content (plus other more in-depth fibre parameters) of finished animal feed. These parameters are available within AB Vista’s Dietary Fibre analysis service (part of our NIR service).

Click here to access

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