Novus Celebrates Record Year of HMTBa Production

US - Confirming what commercial partners and animal nutritionists have known for decades, Novus is continuing to harness the full value of the HMTBa molecule in several species.
calendar icon 20 April 2012
clock icon 5 minute read

The growth in demand for the HMTBa molecule is nearly half of the global methionine market. A boost in demand for HMTBa, in both liquid and dry forms, is a result of targeted market expansion beyond poultry into swine diet formulations, ruminant rations in dairy and beef applications, as well as the ever-growing needs of the aquaculture segment.

As corn and soy feed ingredients have experienced increased price volatility, the cost savings associated with maximizing the use of methionine activity in animals’ diets have increased. Nutrition experts seeking to improve feed efficiency and reduce feed cost routinely turn to HMTBa as their solution.

“2011 was a record year for global Novus production of HMTBa due to the growing demand. We have experienced growth in all of the animal segments globally, expanding beyond the initial poultry markets, which is a testament to the versatility of this molecule,” commented Dan Meagher, Global Animal Nutrition Solutions President at Novus. “We are working with our customers to supply customized solutions and provide world class service. ALIMET®, MHA®, MFP® and MERATMMet feed supplements, Novus’s branded methionine sources, have proven their benefits in livestock and poultry, and companion animal diets globally.”

Since the first sale of ALIMET in 1979, researchers have sought to understand the total value of HMTBa. The knowledge gained over the past three decades in the area of bioavailability and strength of the HMTBa molecule in this area have contributed to the success of the Novus-branded methionine solutions.

Chris Knight, Vice President of Research at Novus explains, “Over the years, concerns have been expressed that conversion of the HMTBa molecule to methionine was less efficient than other sources. However, after more than three decades of commercial application, scientific scrutiny and industry review we have learned that the molecule is 100 percent bioavailable. We have a continued, growing confidence in the molecule, our products and their ability to produce positive results in commercial applications, that is reflected by our global customers as their use of Novus methionine solutions continues to grow.”

HMTBa is a naturally-occurring methionine precursor, and has been found in yeast, plants, chickens and other organisms. The fact that HMTBa is a naturally-occurring precursor to L-methionine helps explain why Novus methionine solutions are such good methionine sources for livestock and companion animals. The conversion process from HMTBa to L-methionine is a natural process in the animal that doesn’t require extra energy to complete. In commercial conditions, the unique HMTBa molecule provides competitive advantages over DL-Methionine (DLM), such as animals’ improved performance during times of heat stress, health benefits of an organic acid and reduced environmental impact through reduced nitrogen excretion.

These benefits to poultry diets have been long-supported by industry and academia. The expansion to ruminant applications has shown even greater value when supplemented at proper inclusion rates. “The rumen bypass value of HMTBa can’t be overlooked when formulating diets for the dairy cow and supplementing beef cattle on pasture,” reports Mercedes Vazquez-Añon, Senior Research Director at Novus. “While DLM is degraded rapidly in the rumen, providing little to no benefit to the animal, HMTBa has a ruminal escape value of approximately 40 percent. This has been verified by numerous published, peer-reviewed papers since 1998. The ruminal escape of HMTBa means the molecule can be absorbed by diffusion along the digestive tract. Studies have shown that HMTBa benefits are seen in dairy cows by improving production of milk components, and in beef cattle with more weight per calf and improved reproduction.”

Benefits extend to aquaculture applications as well. HMTBa has helped nutritionists improve diets by using more sophisticated amino acid formulation. “Just four years ago Novus entered the aquaculture market, and we’re already excelling in this sector,” reports Francisco Gomes, Executive Manager of the Novus Aquaculture Business Unit. “We expect to grow with this segment through targeted nutrition and health applications.”

Providing sustainable nutrition and business solutions is core to the Novus vision to help feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life. Novus methionine solutions help reduce feed costs, optimize gut health and sustain quality environmental practices. For more information visit: or contact your local Novus sales representative.

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