We use the term ‘specialty feeds’ to cover all those products in the feed industry that were developed to facilitate special situations in animal husbandry. Classic products here include young animal feeds, with piglet feed being taken as an example for the purposes of this issue, in which suitable measures make it possible to break through restrictions in the formulations and mix in more functional nutrients. Specialty feeds also include feeds produced for special marketing channels, for example feeds formulated for animals which supply products that are to bear the label “without genetic engineering”. There is also increasing demand for feeds that help to reduce the need for antibiotics prescribed by veterinarians. The articles in this issue include a report on the inhibiting effect of medium-chain fatty acids on gram-positive bacteria.

» GMO-free labelling of feedstuffs to produce foods "with no genetic engineering"
Expert discussion with Alexander Hissting and Birgit Maier-Stein

Many foods bear the green diamond-shaped label with the wording "Ohne Gentechnik" ("without genetic engineering"). The label is awarded by VLOG, the registered association for foods without genetic engineering, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. For products of animal origin, feeds that are not subject to GMO labelling requirements must be used. A discussion with Alexander Hissting, Managing Director of the association for foods without genetic engineering (VLOG), Berlin, and Birgit Maier-Stein, Specialist for Quality Management, Genetic Engineering, Veterinary Law and Export at the Association of German Feed Producers (DVT), Bonn, aimed to clarify questions regarding the background.

» Medium-chain fatty acids can inhibit gram-positive bacteria
Reduction in use of antibiotics coupled with improved animal health

The administration of antibiotics to agricultural livestock is to be reduced ever further. The goal of this minimising concept, now anchored in law, is to cut the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry sustainably. Many farms are therefore seeking alternatives, especially in the field of feed additives, in order to achieve this target. In particular medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) and their derivates are known for their pronounced antibacterial effects against gram-positive bacteria. However, it is only possible to achieve synergistic effects through a targeted combination of the active ingredients. This is demonstrated by a recent study in which the influence of various medium-chain fatty acids on the growth of swine-specific pathogenic germs was examined in vitro.

» Nutrient value of probiotics
Reduced energy and amino acid contents are compensated

Scientific progress regarding the composition and effect of raw materials for feedstuffs represents a further step towards sustainable and efficient livestock production. The use of new ingredients also makes it possible to replace raw materials which have so far "impeded" the formulations. On the other hand, the digestibility of these new alternatives does not correspond to that of the conventional products, making a series of new additives necessary to unlock the full potential of this new diet.

» Digestibility
The link between gut integrity, performance and health

Feed is the major cost factor in animal production. Thus, efficient conversion of feed into meat, eggs or milk is key to profitability and sustainability in animal production systems. Feed efficiency is largely determined by digestibility and this is linked to the integrity of the digestive tract. A healthy intestinal tract is certainly not the only factor influencing digestibility and feed conversion. However, it is obvious that it is a fundamental precondition for converting feed into performance.

» Great start for VIV MEA 2016
Successful show in Abu Dhabi/UAE

VIV Middle East and Africa has far exceeded expectations in its first edition as the new regional trade fair from VIV worldwide to serve the poultry, dairy and aquaculture industries from the Middle East and Africa to Turkey, Iran and the countries of South-Central Asia. Held in the United Arab Emirates from 15until 17 February 2016, the inaugural VIV MEA recorded an audited total of 6336 visits by people from 109 countries to meet exhibitors from more than 279 companies at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

» More space in piglet feed
Breaking through formulation limits

The use of organic acids in piglet feed has become routine today. Despite this, high organic acid contents take up a great deal of space in the feed formulation and can lead to a slightly acidic taste of the pig feed. Moreover, the organic acids occupy much space in the ration that could be put to better use. Reducing the proportion of acid would improve the tastiness of the feed. A share of the organic acids can be replaced by a new, more effective feed additive. This creates space in the formulation for optimising the animal needs. In addition, it allows the possibility of using more easily digestible raw materials without generating higher feed costs.

» Gain competitive advantage with agile nutritional concepts
Adopting to changing challanges

Competition in animal protein production is rapidly increasing in terms of global resource availability and capability of meeting consumer demands for quality and expectations on how animals are being produced. Producers in the EU are already facing tough times in this highly competitive environment. Agile nutritional concepts provide a new approach to animal nutrition and competitive edge for safe and efficient animal protein production from pigs and poultry.