ESPN 2009 - Satellite Seminar Looks to the Future

SCOTLAND, UK - A Satellite Symposium to the European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition took place on Sunday evening. Organised by DSM Nutritional Products, its theme was 'New Horizons, New Technologies'. Jackie Linden, editor of ThePoultrySite, reports on the highlights.
calendar icon 24 August 2009
clock icon 4 minute read

The 'New Horizons, New Technologies' meeting started off with an introduction and welcome by Dr Daniel Froehli of DSM Nutritional Products. He described how the company's principles and vision have been shaped by the changing world in which we live.

Dr Bob Fleming of the Roslin Institute in Scotland introduced the theme of Black Bone Syndrome. He described it as an emerging condition in which chicken has a dark – even black – appearance, especially after freezing and cooking. Whilst Dr Fleming said it was not in any way harmful, it is becoming an issue of consumer acceptance. Children, in particular, find the meat unattractive.

From his and other studies on the syndrome, Dr Fleming said that its most likely direct cause is bone marrow pigmentation leaking through the bones of rapidly growing broilers.

Dr Fidleis Fru of DSM Nutritional Products posed the question, "Do enzymes have a future role in poultry nutrition?". From his presentation, it is clear that he is confident that feed enzymes do have a future for poultry.

Dr Fru highlighted how enzymes can contribute in our tackling of the most important global issues of today: a growing human population, limited natural resources and the need for environmental protection.

He described how feed enzymes are discovered and selected, and then went on to explain how feed enzymes may supplement the animal's own range of digestive enzymes, or complement its endogenous enzymes, or the exogenous enzyme activities may be combined.

What is important, he said, is to be able to explain how the enzymes work in combination.

Looking to the future, Dr Fru predicts that other types of enzymes will be utilised in feeding - not only the hydrolyses used currently - and health benefits may become increasingly important, for example, for their effects on physiology and immunology.

The final presentation in the seminar was given by Dr Kathy Groves from the UK's Leatherhead Food Research Institute. She too tackled an emerging technology: that of the implications of nanotechnology for the food chain.

Firstly, Dr Groves explained what is meant by nanotechnology. The official ISO definition of nanotechnology covers the design, characterisation, production and application of structures, devices and systems by controlling shape and function on a nano-scale, i.e. between one and 100 nanometres.

These tiny particles – one-millionth of a millimetre – are often remarkable for their tremendous strength. These particles have already been applied in a wide number of industries and technologies from engineering to sports equipment and telecommunications to cosmetics.

Dr Groves explained that there should be no real consumer concerns over the use of these particles as they exist widely and apparently harmlessly in Nature.

The first applications in some food-related industries hint that nanotechnology offers great potential for the poultry industry. Dr Groves suggested that nanotechnology could be applied to encapsulate vitamin and enzymes for feed, and poultry houses could be given a nano-coating to reduce microbial growth.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on the use of nanotechnology in the poultry industry by clicking here.
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