Poultry producers benefit from Danisco's unique corn analysis service
Avicheckâ„¢ Corn, a unique analytical service that helps to maximise the nutritional and financial value of corn (maize), is enabling feed manufacturers and poultry producers throughout the world to optimise enzyme use, improve production uniformity and maximise financial margins. According to Danisco Animal Nutrition, which supplies the service, the benefits currently equate to as much as a US$12/tonne reduction in broiler feed costs.
So accurate and effective is Avicheckâ„¢ Corn that one Canadian feed manufacturer has developed a range of feeds that ensure its customers achieve consistent returns and maximise profit/kg gain from one cycle of broilers to the next. The company has used Avizyme 1500, Danisco's multi-enzyme product, in its broiler, turkey and layer feeds for more than four years because it has found it to be the most effective enzyme in terms of reducing feed costs and overcoming corn's inherent variability. Avizyme 1500 improves the energy value of corn and reduces the variability in energy value between different batches of corn, which has enabled the company to remove more expensive energy sources such as fats or oils from the feed and reduce costs, while improving the consistency of feed performance.
What prompted the company to use Danisco's Avicheckâ„¢ Corn service to analyse the feed value of different batches of corn were the extreme variations in corn growing and harvesting conditions experienced during 2003. The results indicated that while the average energy value of corn was acceptable, its variability meant that Avizyme 1500 could be assigned a feed formulation energy value up to 50 percent more than had been used previously, while maintaining consistent feed performance. This gave the manufacturer confidence that the energy value it had been assigning to Avizyme 1500 was more than adequate for these highly variable batches of corn.
The company was so impressed by the results that it used the Avicheckâ„¢ Corn service throughout the 2004 harvest, even though corn variability was markedly less than during the previous year. Analysis of 40 corn samples highlighted a range of energy values for Avizyme 1500 from 83 to 103 kcal per kg of feed, with an average of 92 kcal/kg, which enabled the firm to evaluate potentially greater economic benefits from using Avizyme 1500 while maintaining feed consistency. Consequently, the company plans to continue to use Avicheckâ„¢ Corn for routine analysis of corn samples post harvest and throughout the year, enabling it to keep a close eye on quality and to modify the energy value assigned to Avizyme 1500 as appropriate.
Dr Milan Hruby, Danisco Animal Nutrition's Technical Services Manager, says that feed and poultry producers are increasingly appreciating the true financial value of using the Avicheckâ„¢ Corn service. He comments:
"Corn is the most commonly used grain in poultry diets and widely regarded as a model of consistency, but it can be extremely variable in terms of both nutrient content and availability. During development of the Avicheckâ„¢ Corn service we conducted a global corn quality survey to identify the factors responsible for variations in corn digestibility. It confirmed that significant variations exist in levels of moisture, oil, fibre, protein and amino acids present in different batches of corn due to differences between varieties and in growing conditions, harvest timing and post-harvest treatments. These factors contribute to large variations in nutritional value between batches of feed and may be responsible for differences of up to 15 percent in feed costs."
Broiler feeds are usually formulated using fixed nutrient values, which take no account of these variations and risk under-exploiting bird growth, feed conversion efficiency and profitability. While a number of options have been available to enable producers to assess corn quality, such as screening corn samples for nutrient content and estimating energy value (AME) at the feed mill, these are generally too costly, time consuming and inaccurate.
Avicheckâ„¢ Corn represents a breakthrough in feed enzyme technology by quickly, cheaply and accurately determining the nutritional value of corn. The service also provides an estimate of the additional value resulting from the use of Avizyme 1500 through reductions in feed costs because, typically, the higher energy corn replaces more expensive high-energy ingredients, for example fat or oil.
In a two-stage process, Danisco's laboratory first analyses a sample of corn submitted by the customer and accurately calculates by how much Avizyme 1500 can improve its AME, which is reported as an "Energy Improvement Value" (EIV). Computer software, which incorporates extensive information on corn EIV values for different countries, then estimates the economic benefits of lower feed costs and improved broiler bodyweight uniformity attributable to Avizyme 1500. Typically, the multi-enzyme product increases the energy value of corn by approximately 3.5- 5.0 percent and may enable the crude protein of the feed to be reduced by up to 2.5 percent, while maintaining levels of essential amino acids.
"Feed is the largest single cost in broiler productions systems and profitability depends on the relative cost and nutritive value of the ingredients available," comments Dr Hruby. "Danisco's research demonstrates that the net benefit to producers from using Avizyme 1500 is equivalent to an average of almost US$12.00/tonne of feed, comprising US$2.10/tonne from a reduction in feed costs and US$9.80/tonne from improved flock uniformity. To a broiler producer processing 1,000,000 birds a week that would be worth an additional US$2.2 million annually."
Danisco Animal Nutrition, a division of leading global food ingredient specialist Danisco A/S (Denmark), pioneered the development and use of enzymes and betaine in animal nutrition. Its products are now widely used by pig and poultry producers throughout the world. The company's mission is to deliver innovative, sustainable solutions that increase efficiency and safety of the food production chain in an environmentally responsible way.