Save the dollar you invest: optimised raw feed material preservation through activated propionates
Another year of cheap & plentiful inputs？
Agricultural market trends
Global contemporary animal production quadrupled during the past 50 years and totaled with 308 million MT of meat produced in 2013, with Asia as the main animal production center.
The population of the world is steadily growing, with a population of 9.1 billion expected by 2050. The majority of these people are in developing countries. As growth continues worldwide urbanisation is expected to reach 70 percent by 2050 compared to 49 percent today.
In order to feed the larger and more urbanised population, global food production needs to increase by about 70 percent with an increased cereal production to about 3 billion tons (from 2.1 billion today) and an increase in annual meat production to 470 million tons, respectively (FAO 2009).
However, declining growth rates of major cereal crops globally challenge agriculture to develop new technologies to compete with natural resources such as land and water, climate change and habitat preservation.
International trade of raw feed materials intensifies to ensure food security. To manage these challenges, political combined with professional networking is required. In short, the agricultural industry needs to produce more from less land and with fewer hands.
Mould prevention in animal feeds by organic acids
Organic acids as forage and grain preservative fundamentally contribute to feed hygiene by suppressing the growth of moulds, yeasts and bacterial pathogens, thus allowing a more efficient use of feed resources. The use of organic acids in feed preservation has now been accepted globally in agricultural sectors as a raw feed material.
Finished feeds will have better nutritive quality and thereby lead to healthier conditions and the improved growth of farmed animals, resulting with greater economic efficiency.
However, due to humid weather, high temperatures or tropical monsoon rains, huge amounts of raw feed materials rot away due to often insufficiently managed or available storage conditions.
Global food waste amounted worldwide to 1.3 billion tons in 2013. This is equivalent to one third of the annual global food production (FAO 2013) causing severe economic losses and environmental harm.
In addition to this, if decayed grains are harvested they can infest new supplies, intensifying mould and mycotoxin development. About 54 percent of global food waste occurs during production, post-harvest handling and storage, contributing to about 870 million people daily staying hungry.
While the annual grain wastage in Australia is estimated to account for only 0.75 percent, 3.2 million tons (16 percent) had been recorded for Pakistan.
Annually India wastes 21 million tons of wheat, which is equivalent to the entire annual wheat production of Australia.
At the 1996 World Food Summit the FAO strategic goal was adopted in an attempt to eliminate world hunger in developing countries by 2015. Even a 10 percent decrease in global raw feed material waste through professionally engineered storage would make a significant contribution.
Moulds and mycotoxins in feed can cause weak animals to fall ill of metabolic or reproductive diseases and result in insufficient growth performance.
Non-corrosive preservative products that are easy to handle, yet guarantee the highest levels of grain preservation are needed.
Propionic acid combined with benzoates and propionates found wide market acceptance as did propionic acid mixed with its buffered propionates and weak organic (e.g. formic, acetic, lactic) acids.
Further innovation lead to the micelle technology, wherein activated propionates are being formed and kept in higher density.
Micelles increases the porosity of the mould's cell wall more efficiently by opening "canals" for in-dissociated propionic acid molecules to easily penetrate. It also does this by reducing the pH inside the mould, which leads to the destruction of the DNA which in turn leads to the death of the cell.
Feed preservation in Asia
Moisture determination is crucial for high preservation of raw feed materials to avoid mould and yeast development on grains during storage before feed processing.
Common practice is to double-check moisture content upon raw material arrival at the feed mill or farm. Spray-on techniques of various propionic acid containing feed preservatives is used to inhibit mould accumulation on raw feed materials at smaller sized farms or larger sized feed mill storage facilities.
In both cases, raw feed materials will be centrifuged to segregate husk and sand prior to be screw-conveyed through a several meter long tube, wherein the feed-preserving product is homogeneously being sprayed to guarantee equal mixing with raw feed materials.
Mould development often takes place in high temperature-humid sections of each feed mill, especially, once the mixed feeds are cooling after pelleting and before they are packed.
Temperature drops evoke water condensation, the breeding ground for moulds. Combining mould inhibiting organic acids with surfactants, two effects are accomplished in one strike!
While the mould inhibition will be reduced through activated propionates, surfactants will assure a homogeneous dispersion of the hydrating feed preservative with concomitantly increased throughput and thereby production capacity in the pelletiser.
Moisture optimisation programs are available for feed millers considering the initial moisture content of all raw feed materials to be mixed and processed to pellets with, however, the right dosage of mould-inhibiting organic acid based spray-on preservatives.
It is thus emphasised on a customer-solution-oriented management approach rather than on single product promotions to be applied for best feed quality management.
Feed mills are enabled to store and manufacture their products with outstanding quality parameters for best animal feed production ahead of competition.
Organic acid based feed preservation reduces mould growth and when combined with surfactants, it also reduces energy costs in comparison to conventional methods (electric cooling or drying).
Trouw Nutrition, a leading company in the feed additive market is not only developing high quality products, but providing the unique combination of market specific solutions, such as vividly applicable models and costumer tailored services.
This is boosting high quality animal feed production and farming in the Asia-Pacific region.
Optimising animal nutrition of high value market players encompasses concepts, products and nutritional know-how in line with their professionally responsible ultimate company goal of 'Feeding the Future'.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Trouw Nutrition