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Novus International
Valuing Our Role
Part: 01
Valuing Partnerships
Part: 02
Valuing People, Passion & Purpose
Part: 03
Valuing Governance & Transparency
Part: 04

How Does Novus Advance Science and Knowledge?

Sharing Methionine Knowledge

Jeff Klopfenstein Insights from Jeff Klopfenstein Executive Vice President and President, Methionine Business Unit

“All methionine sources are not created equal. ALIMET®, MHA®, and MERA Met® have been adopted worldwide by many of the producers with the best economic performance. Methionine hydroxy analog simply works better. The heat stress and organic acid benefits add to the methionine efficacy to give better performance in the animals. It’s as simple as that.

Novus is committed to providing solutions that optimize diet formulations for poultry, pork, beef, dairy, aqua and companion animals. One of the roles of our methionine business, beyond delivering scientifically superior solutions for our customers’ needs, is to help customers get to the truth. And the plain truth is that the unique chemical structure of our HMTBa molecule, a naturally occurring methionine precursor, delivers functional benefits other methionine sources cannot, including measurable improvements in animal performance, gut health and heat stress response, as well as improved efficiency which is beneficial for the environment and helps producers maximize performance both in the field and on the bottom line. We can add value to our customers by ensuring nutritionists, feed industry decision-makers, livestock producers and anyone in our industry has easy-to-access information on sources of methionine activity for livestock, companion and aquatic animal diets. We want to make decisions easier for the feed industry. That is why we launched our dedicated website, www.novusmethionine.com, in October 2012. Since then, we have had great interest and feel that the site is an essential source of knowledge for our customers.”

Next Generation Carotenoids for Animal and Human Health

Tonchy Ugrinovic Insights from Tonchy Ugrinovic Director, Operations and Global Purchasing

“Generally, carotenoids - pigments from plants - are used because of their visual effect, adding color wherever they go. Aesthetic improvements through improved coloration make food attractive to eat and this is linked to the quality of life in developed countries.

Carotenoids have benefits beyond enriched pigmentation. In our trials to date, we have seen that carotenoids support animal health through an antioxidant effect, such as lutein from marigold and others from paprika. When incorporated into animal feed, they not only benefit animals, but humans as well. If you eat eggs laid by a chicken that consumed carotenoids as part of its diet, you also consume the same antioxidant and gain its beneficial effects.”

Maintaining Shrimp Health

Craig Browdy Insights from Craig Browdy Executive Manager, Aquaculture Research

“Shrimp is one of the most popular seafoods around the world and a major source of nutrition, providing over three million tons of protein a year to feed the world’s population. Maintaining shrimp health remains one of the most important challenges for the global shrimp farming industry. Losses due to disease continue to mount in many parts of the industry, as problems with shrimp viruses persist and new diseases emerge. Maintaining health requires careful attention to site selection, seed quality and biosecurity as a part of an integrated health management strategy. The farm feed program is a crucial foundation for shrimp health.

Today’s shrimp feeds must do more than meet target nutritional requirements; they must be a vehicle for the delivery of health solutions. An increasing body of literature suggests that the effective use of feed supplements can fundamentally improve the health of the animal by affecting the gut environment and improving overall immunocompetence and fitness. Our focus is improving the health of the animal before acute disease occurs by using the optimal mix of therapeutic nutrition solutions including prebiotics, probiotics and antimicrobials. In a shrimp cage trial performed in Ecuador using our organic acid and essential oil blends, we perceived significant survival, growth and weight gain in shrimp. We continue to work in the industry to educate shrimp farmers about ways to improve shrimp productivity.”

Solving Mortality Problems in Marine Fish

Mercedes Vazquez-Anon Insights from Mercedes Vazquez-Anon Senior Director, Animal Research

“We have been successful in understanding the role of essential oils in other compounds that directly affect microflora in the gut and health of fish. This is a combination of basic research in the lab and going out into the field to research problems in real-life conditions. We have found that the only way to gain reliable results in our research is to partner with customers to perform trials in their facilities.

Today, we are constantly seeking options to formulate fish diets with less fish meal. Replacing fish meal with plant protein is a more cost-effective choice. However, when you are dealing with carnivores, a non-animal sourced, protein-based diet may create some challenges in the gut, which cannot digest plant proteins and structural carbohydrates. Slowly but surely, these issues have been overcome, but small changes in the quality of ingredients can leave animals more susceptible to gut related disease. This is a known issue in the industry. Our research focus has been to resolve this issue. We found good results with essential oils and looked for the opportunity to do some trials in the field. We were able to work with two large customers who produce sea bream in Greece and Turkey. During the trials which lasted several months, in addition to improvement in gut health, we also got an unforeseen result - a decrease in mortality because of reduced rates of necrotic enteritis in the fish. Apparently, essential oils are more effective than we thought and prevent extreme consequences of gut disease, thereby improving the productivity of fish farmers in the Mediterranean area.”

Increasing Camel Milk Production in Kenya

Insights from Ellen Dierenfeld Manager, CSR and Sustainability Programs

“We have been researching camels for some time now, in partnership with the Institute for Conservation Medicine St. Louis Zoological Society, as camels are a source of rich, nutritious, affordable, wholesome protein which has sustained communities for thousands of years. In our 2011 Sustainability Report, we talked about a baseline study on disease prevalence in camels in Kenya, focusing on certain diseases that may be transmitted from camels to people through the consumption of milk and meat products if these food items are not properly prepared. Our ongoing research relating to camel productivity in Kenya has shown that improvements in feed composition increases milk production by up to 18 percent.

Kenya has an estimated 2.9 million camels, more than five percent of the world’s dromedary camels. There is a growing need and market for camel products, but little research has been done to support the commercial viability of this species. One of the issues with camel rearing is limited milk production. The objective of our research was to test ways to reduce calf mortality and maintain female milk production within a camel herd, especially during increasingly severe droughts. In partnership with the Mpala Research Centre, Kenya; the Department of Animal Sciences, Egerton University, Kenya; and the St. Louis Zoological Society, we investigated the effectiveness of a feed supplement to improve milk quantity and quality, and calf survival up to weaning among a managed herd of dromedary camels in Laikipia, Kenya, with funding from a grant through the Conservation, Food & Health Foundation. We engaged private camel herders and a local camel milk processor to participate in the trial.

Our results showed that 17 female camels receiving a feed supplement produced 13 percent more milk than females not receiving supplements. The results also showed that when supplements were given during pregnancy as well as lactation and milk production could be tracked consistently from birth, milk yield was on average 18 percent higher among supplemented females.

This is the first attempt in Kenya to test the efficacy of feed supplements in camels and will contribute to making camel protein more available and more affordable in this region, while improving livelihoods of pastoral farmers in arid lands.”

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