05 November 2018- Following a positive EFSA ruling on its safety and efficacy a year ago, Novus International’s AVIMATRIX® feed additive was inscribed on the EU’s list of zootechnical feed additives for broilers and chickens reared for laying earlier this year. Although the product had already received market authorization for 15 jurisdictions outside the EU, this clearance was heralded as a milestone by Novus’s team. It is easy to understand why. As Europe has assumed a leading position in the worldwide effort to reduce the use of in-feed antibiotics, Novus believes AVIMATRIX®, as a eubiotic product which acts on the gut microflora, can offer vital assistance to producers looking to enhance feed conversion, growth, and litter quality.
To discuss the company’s momentum in the growing eubiotics sector, Feedinfo caught up with Novus International’s Gavin Bowman, Senior Director for Global Product Development, and Uwe Ranft, Executive Director and Chief Commercial Officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Novus International. In their view, as the industry moves towards a more sparing use of antibiotics, Novus’s reputation for scientific excellence and its mastery of the technical aspects of feed additive production and delivery leaves the company well-placed to cater to these evolving needs.
[Feedinfo News Service] AVIMATRIX® feed additive is a eubiotic solution containing benzoic acid, calcium formate and fumaric acid, embedded in a lipid matrix. How do these three ingredients work together to improve performance?
[Gavin Bowman] During the discovery phase of the R&D project we conducted a series of screenings using a challenge model with chickens to test the efficacy of various combinations of active ingredients, formulated with our proprietary technology, on intestinal health and integrity, gut microbiota and consequently on performance parameters. The combination of benzoic and fumaric acid with calcium formate turned out to be one of the most effective solutions in this animal model. Formulation technology plays a key role in the gradual release of the active antimicrobial compounds along the small intestine to secure optimal effectiveness.
[Feedinfo News Service] The process of obtaining a registration as zootechnical feed additive required rigorous proof of efficacy. Can you share more about the studies Novus has had carried out on this product?
[Uwe Ranft] At the farm level AVIMATRIX® had proven positive effects beyond the usual performance parameters. We found evidence for better control of pathogens and a healthier microflora in the gut, as well as for faster recovery from microbial challenges and fewer problems with wet litter. These field observations provoked our interest to get this unique eubiotic solution authorized as a feed additive for improving zootechnical performance.
Studies submitted to support our registration dossier were conducted in collaboration with research facilities across the European Union and followed the strict and relevant EU guidelines for efficacy studies. Assessing the data from a number of those trials, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the inclusion of AVIMATRIX® at a minimum dose of 500 mg/kg complete feed has the potential to improve the performance of chickens for fattening. EFSA considered the statistically significant improvement of feed conversion ratio when birds were fed AVIMATRIX® the relevant endpoint for its positive conclusion.
[Feedinfo News Service] What are Novus’s objectives for AVIMATRIX® in the European market following the recent authorization?
[Uwe Ranft] The registration of AVIMATRIX® as zootechnical feed additive is a milestone for Novus. It will allow us to further consolidate and strengthen our offer in the eubiotics segment around the world. The confirmation of the European authorities that AVIMATRIX® can improve zootechnical performance, backed by extensive practical and research experience that this product is supporting animal well-being, will boost the use of this innovative feed additive.
[Feedinfo News Service] Europe has one of the world’s most well-developed markets for eubiotics, and many other companies are active there. How do you think AVIMATRIX® will distinguish itself from the competition?
[Uwe Ranft] Based on strong efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production the eubiotics market has grown rapidly over the last decade, especially in Europe. As is typical for a new market segment, and considering the regulatory challenges to enter this market are still rather low, many companies try to benefit from these developments. However, longer term we expect a consolidation on the supplier´s side that will also be supported by an evolving regulatory framework. Novus has been a strong partner of the poultry industry since its formation in 1991 and is recognized by its industry partners as a science-driven company. Customers value the extensive research we have done in amino acids, and more recently in the organic trace mineral and enzyme segments. In line with this reputation, we have built a strong dossier for AVIMATRIX®. Together with the EU authorization as zootechnical feed additive it puts us into a unique position and distinguishes us from most competitors.
[Feedinfo News Service] It has been 6 years since AVIMATRIX® was first introduced. How has customer reception in other areas been? Where has adoption been most successful?
[Uwe Ranft] AVIMATRIX® was first introduced as a premixture in Europe. Sales have grown throughout the years thanks to the positive impact customers have seen on gut microflora, animal performance, litter quality and foot pad health, particularly in the EU, where animal welfare has become a major point of attention for chicken producers. Adoption has been most successful in situations with both a strong desire to reduce antibiotic treatments and high microbial challenges. With the recent zootechnical registration, Novus is preparing for a broader global launch of AVIMATRIX®.
[Feedinfo News Service] Can you tell me more about Novus’s strategy in the eubiotics category more generally? How does AVIMATRIX® fit into this portfolio?
[Gavin Bowman] Novus offers a broad range of eubiotic technologies including specialty acids, essential oils, pro- and prebiotics to be able to address varying customer needs globally.
AVIMATRIX® is a key solution of our specialty acids portfolio supporting cost-effective, sustainable poultry production. Based on the success in Europe, AVIMATRIX® feed additive will be launched in the Americas and in Asia where we see an increasing demand for alternative feeding concepts without antibiotic growth promoters.
[Feedinfo News Service] How is Novus working to maintain a leadership role in eubiotics? Can we expect further developments on the eubiotics front from Novus in the coming months?
[Gavin Bowman] We are closely working with our customers to understand the main challenges they are experiencing in specific regions around the world and develop the best solutions to support their needs. As the global industry makes efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production, Novus continues to strengthen its global eubiotics product development team as well as the field organization dedicated to gut health/eubiotics solutions. Novus is continuously investing into researching existing and developing new solutions to further fill the ever-changing market need to help feed a growing population.