Nutreco Exploration 

Nutreco Exploration develops novel and proprietary ultra-specialty ingredients and empowers development of innovative functional feeds.

One way we are working towards our purpose of Feeding the Future is through our strategy to become a market leader in the feed additives segment by launching creative, novel, effective and proprietary solutions in our markets.

In the past, Nutreco pursued growth in this space by acquiring feed additive companies and investing in our own internal R&D, but this is not enough. We need to approach ultra-specialties in a more transformative way – looking for solutions to the unmet needs of farmers and establishing completely new avenues for business development. Ultra-specialties are high value solutions to relevant industry problems; they require a strong level of science for their development and have significant barriers to entry. 

This is why, in 2021, we created Nutreco Exploration, a small entity that serves as a creative engine feeding the Innovation Groups of Selko, Skretting and Trouw Nutrition with the novel solutions they need.

While Innovation teams across the business keep focusing on identifying customer needs and managing the life cycles of our product portfolios, Nutreco Exploration explores two programs – phytotechnology and microtechnology – to discover novel ideas and develop them into exclusive ingredients to match the needs of Nutreco’s businesses. 

Our Phytotechnology program harnesses the power of the plant kingdom for application in aquatic species and livestock. It enables us to develop Phyto-complexes, or plant metabolites which, when added to feed, display a specific molecular effect that is beneficial for animals . A Phyto-complex is protected by a patent, preferably cultivated variety ownership and is associated with high entry barriers, making this an area where we can find significant differentiation.

In June 2024, we’ll officially open Nutreco’s Garden of the Future in Thurgau, Switzerland. 

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Our Microtechnology program mines the function of the microbiome for application in aquatic species and livestock. Through it, we develop Biome-actives, or gut bacterial functions that, when added to feed, display a beneficial effect on animal performance, health and welfare. Biome-actives can be conveyed by a protein, e.g., an enzyme, an effect of a consortium of live bacteria, or another compound. 


Each of these programs works closely with the business, operates its own centre of excellence and applies discovery driven planning. In addition, NutEx also creates new avenues for business by identifying ingredients or technologies that can bring us into new product segments and give us better access to a wider range of customers with different expectations. Taken together, this is raising the bar on how we can tailor our solutions to meet our customers’ needs through stand-alone additives, functional premixes, or functional feeds, and setting us apart in our industry. 

The Nutreco Exploration team

  • Dr. David Bravo - Chief Science Officer (CScO) - LinkedIn
  • Dr. Emma Wall -  Director of Discovery for Phytotechnology -  LinkedIn
  • Lucia Luijben – Exploration Manager - LinkedIn
  • Dr. Yanming Han - Discovery Director Microtechnology - ​LinkedIn
  • Melchior de Bruin, DVM MSc - Development & Deployment Manager -  LinkedIn
  • Dr. Karin Berger - Phytotechnology Discovery Director - LinkedIn
  • Dr. Bernd Büter - Director of Nutreco Exploration’s Phytotechnology Program and Garden of the Future - LinkedIn
  • Jennifer Maurin - Development & Deployment Manager - LinkedIn

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