With global population ever-increasing, creating the most efficient way of producing food for the human supply chain with a diminishing supply of land puts efficiency in the spotlight.
This was one of the key themes highlighted as part of the fourth update to Premier Nutrition’s feed-formulation basis, Premier Atlas.
Mick Hazzledine, pig products director who led the update project, outlined some of these alongside Anna Dinsdale, commercial ruminant nutritionist.
Several updates to the atlas were outlined including the availability of new crystalline amino acids, which could potentially reduce protein and soya reliance as well as nitrogen excretion.
Ms Dinsdale said: “Supplementing the specific amino acids an animal needs in-line with requirements will take away the need to add in more protein and over-supplement.
“When it comes to ruminants, there is a perception that more protein equals better performance. Although to some extent it does, it is not necessarily the most efficient or environmentally friendly way of doing it.
“Amino acid technology is, however, complex which needs to be effectively communicated through tools like the atlas.”
The addition of an extended omega fatty acid profile for every raw material within the tool is also explored in more detail in Atlas 2019.
This, explained Mr Hazzledine, was in-line with an increasing demand for more omega 3 in products from consumers and had allowed more flexibility when it came to formulating rations to achieve this.
With many commonly seen raw ingredients, such as soya and rapeseed meal, coming under increasing pressure, more novel inputs in the form of insect protein, algae and seaweed have also been included in the latest Premier Atlas.
Mr Hazzledine said: “If demand continues to increase, insects have huge potential going forward to produce a high quality protein and high quality fat. It could make environmental sense, but yet to be seen and also crucial is whether it could make economic sense on a large scale.”