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Annual review 2015

Improving health

That is the true value of nutrition: it supports good health

LifeStart sets life performance

Reducing the use of antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a present danger and future threat for human as well as animal health.

Strengthening piglets

Improving the fish immune system

A strong fish immune system helps to improve responses to infectious agents...

Neutralizing mycotoxins

Preventing gill disorder

Gill disorders are one of the most serious and widespread impacts upon the health of farmed salmonids.

Combating salmonella

Salmonellosis remains one of the most frequent food-borne zoonoses, constituting a worldwide major public health concern.

Boosting energy after calving

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Contact us

Nutreco N.V.

Prins Frederiklaan 4
3818 KC Amersfoort
P.O. Box 299
3800 AG Amersfoort
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)33 422 6100
Fax: +31 (0)33 422 6105
E-mail: corpcomm@nutreco.com
Trade Register no 16074305 Eindhoven (NL)


Nutreco Nederland B.V.

Veerstraat 38
5831 JN Boxmeer
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0)485 589 955
Fax: +31 (0)485 574 518
Trade Register no 16058721 Eindhoven (NL)

Improving health

Improving health

Watch this animation and understand how important nutrition is for good health.

Improving health

LifeStart sets life performance

Early life nutrition has a huge impact on the later life performance of farm animals. This phenomenon is known as epigenetics: the effect of nutrition and environment during early life on gene expression. Metabolic programming is the key scientific principle behind the Nutreco LifeStart programme and it applies to livestock, fish and shrimp alike.

It is estimated that around 30% to 40% of the genetic potential of animals is unused. This is caused by suboptimal nutrition and farm environment, and health related issues. LifeStart brings together science and knowledge, and provides natural, sustainable ways to improve animal health and reduce the productivity gap.

LifeStart is best described by its effect on milk production. Every extra gram gained by a calf prior to weaning translates to 4 additional litres of milk during the first lactation. In many cases even higher volumes are achievable.

Milkiwean, Farm-O-San, Sprayfo and Milkivit are all product brands within the LifeStart concept.

LifeStarts community

We believe epigenetics to dominate biological study in the decades to come and we aspire to be the front-runner. We have initiated the LifeStart community and lead the investigation into epigenetics applied in animal production. Our objective is to speed up the transfer of new knowledge from scientific research into on-farm management.

LifeStart community in 2015:

  • 4,000 attendees during local LifeStart events

  • >10 countries involved

  • Active community on social media

Learn more about LifeStart at lifestartscience.

Improving health

Reducing the use of antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a present danger and future threat for human as well as animal health. AMR to common antibiotics has reached alarming levels in many parts of the world, and according to the WHO an era in which common infections and minor injuries can be lethal again is a real possibility. An important part of the strategy to fight AMR is the reduction of antibiotic usage by both humans and animals. In animal production, in some regions of the world antibiotics are applied as antimicrobial growth promoters (AGP) to improve efficiency of production and, next to that antibiotics are used globally as preventive and therapeutic medical treatments for animal health. Feed additives have proven to be an effective alternative to antimicrobial growth promoters, as well as beneficial in stimulating gut health and supporting the immune system.

In 2015 we helped numerous customers worldwide to reduce their need for antibiotics usage with our integrated approach of feed, health and farm management. This includes feed formulation, feed hygiene, product application advice and training. Additionally we stepped up our efforts to validate our Selko feed additives product portfolio on a global scale by initiating numerous field trials, including in China.

Improving health

Strengthening piglets

The number of piglets that a sow gives birth to per litter has increased substantially in recent years as a result of better breeding techniques. This can result in smaller and more vulnerable piglets. Some of them can be so weak that they don’t have enough energy to get to the sow’s udder. At the same time, the sow cannot produce enough milk to feed all of her piglets.

This is one important area where LifeStart is making a difference. Successful piglet rearing is based on a virtuous circle of quality nutrition, good health and effective farm management. With insights gained from studies and experiences from the LifeStart perspective philosophy and practice, Trouw Nutrition has developed a series of tailored feeding programmes to boost feed intake during the pre- and post-weaning stages. These feeding programmes are sold in the market under the Milkiwean brand.

In 2015, global LifeStart and Milkiwean validation trials started in order to prove the beneficial effects of the Milkiwean feeding programmes. The trials are still running.

Improving health

Improving the fish immune system

A strong fish immune system helps to improve responses to infectious agents and fight the negative effects of stress in fish, caused by factors including disease, handling, transport and vaccinations. Skretting’s Protec diets contain a wide range of active ingredients – including optimised doses of vitamins and minerals – that support the immune system.

Throughout 2015, Protec continued to prove particularly effective in preparing salmonids, sea bass and sea bream for stressful situations, and its wide use by farmers in all production regions helped reduce mortalities created by extreme environmental conditions. It is also being used to improve the healing capacity of skin and to reduce the impact of several infectious diseases. In 2015, Skretting expanded the Protec solution across more key aquaculture species, including tilapia.

Improving health

Preventing gill disorder

Gill disorders are one of the most serious and widespread impacts upon the health of farmed salmonids. Developed by the Skretting ARC and launched in 2015, new Protec Gill uses functional ingredients that support and shield gills when fish are confronted with challenges that can lead to gill disorder, enabling them to cope better and recover faster.

Protec Gill builds upon the knowledge and expertise that came from the Protec solutions.

Improving health

Neutralizing mycotoxins

Mycotoxins in crops, produced by mould that can easily develop in the event of adverse weather during growth and when grain kernels are damaged during harvesting and storage, pose a threat to feed safety. This is a growing problem in animal feed production.

In 2015, we launched the Mycomaster, a rapid analysis reader that gives an instant and reliable indication of mycotoxin contamination. This easy-to-use tool gives fast results and is cost-effective. Since mycotoxins have a negative effect on feed quality and intake, as well as on animal health, it is important that farmers and feed mills can analyse mycotoxins themselves and take appropriate action by adding the right mycotoxin binders to their feed. The Mycomaster enables feed mills to directly quantify the main six mycotoxins with a fifteen-minute, on-the-spot photometric analysis.

Improving health

Combating salmonella

Salmonellosis remains one of the most frequent food-borne zoonoses, constituting a worldwide major public health concern. The main sources of infection for humans include the consumption of contaminated poultry meat. Salmonella bacteria may enter the bird via several routes, but the main causes of transmission on the farm are the arrival of new animals, contaminated water and feed systems, farm housing and insufficient biosecurity measures. These varied routes make reducing Salmonella in the feed-to-food chain a complex issue.

In 2015 we performed many Salmonella audits with poultry integrators as well as feed ingredients suppliers. A Salmonella audit analyses the entire production chain: feed production, breeding, farming and slaughtering, including analysis of critical control points (CCPs), serotyping of bacteria and monitoring progress. The main purpose of the audit is to analyse the origin of contamination and the possible cause of spreading. In the event of Salmonella being discovered, the positive samples will be serotyped to identify the source of contamination. After the audit, customised advice on product application and hygiene management is given, based on a specific feed programme, feed production process and farm circumstances. Finally, our specialist team will advise production staff on awareness and prevention of recontamination in feed production, breeding and animal production.

Improving health

Boosting energy after calving

Directly before and during calving, cows don’t eat or drink and lose large amounts of fluids. At the same time, their need for calcium and energy increases dramatically in order to produce colostrum (the first milk during and after calving) and milk. The cow tries to meet this extra need by increasing the uptake of calcium from its diet, and by releasing calcium from its bones. But this process can be slow, resulting in milk fever and in severe cases even to death.

In 2013, Trouw Nutrition R&D developed a post-calving drink for cows, called FARM-O-SAN Reviva. Given to a cow directly after calving, it improves the uptake of calcium from feed. Trials have demonstrated that cows like drinking Reviva and that they eat more if they drink Reviva.

Additional trials in 2015 demonstrated that Farm-O-San Reviva also improves the uptake of calcium (a spontaneous calcium uptake of almost 100% was shown after drinking Reviva), a claim we couldn’t substantiate before. Farm-O-San is a complete portfolio of high-quality nutritional products developed especially to help farms deal with health problems in their livestock.

Improving health

Reducing food losses and waste

According to the FAO, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted. Global quantitative food losses and waste per year are roughly 30% for cereals, 40-50% for root crops, fruits and vegetables, 20% for oil seeds, meat and dairy and 35% for fish. In developing countries, 40% of losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels while in industrialised countries more than 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels. Even if just one-quarter of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world. Nutreco has several solutions to reduce food losses and waste.

In order to reduce raw material losses and minimise the impact of inferior quality, we have developed rapid diagnostic tools that enable our customers to get the most out of their raw materials. In 2014, we realised a breakthrough by obtaining independent accreditation for our near-infrared (NIR) spectrometry of animal feed ingredients. This accreditation was unique, particularly because of its scope, since it allows us to offer cheap and fast remote NIR application for all key feed components as an equally accurate alternative to traditional expensive and time-consuming proximate analyses.

In 2015, we launched the Mycomaster to mitigate the effect of the presence of mycotoxins in crops, produced by mould that can easily develop in the event of adverse weather during growth and when grain kernels are damaged during harvesting and storage. This is a growing problem in animal feed production. The Mycomaster is a rapid analysis reader that gives an instant and reliable indication of mycotoxin contamination. This easy-to-use tool gives fast results and is cost-effective. Since mycotoxins have a negative effect on feed quality and intake, as well as on animal health, it is important that farmers and feed mills can analyse mycotoxins themselves and take appropriate action by adding the right mycotoxin binders to their feed.

In the area of waste reduction, our research programmes are constantly focused on the valorisation of co-products derived from the food production industry. They have excellent nutritional value as they often contain high levels of energy, protein and fats. With the intention to sustainably make use of co-products, it is essential to reduce product waste. By reducing the microbial contamination, co-products will remain stable for a longer period of time. Additionally, the dry matter content and the nutritional value of the co-product will be maintained for use in animal feed. In order to preserve the nutritional value of co-products, we have developed Revalet ®, a range of products based on a synergistic blend of organic acids and surfactants that are formulated to reduce moulds, yeasts and Enterobacteria in co-products. All products focus on shelf-life extension of co-products, creating high-quality raw materials that can be used for use in animal feed.