INTERVIEW: Trouw Nutrition Sees Great Potential for Hydroxy Trace Minerals Worldwide
1 March 2017
27 February 2017 - Trouw Nutrition, the animal nutrition company of Nutreco, recently announced the global integration of the Selko IntelliBond product range, which is claimed to be the world's first hydroxy trace minerals for animal nutrition. The news comes a year after Nutreco's acquisition of U.S. based company Micronutrients.
With proven sales success in the U.S., Trouw Nutrition is excited to make these products – seen to be technologically advanced forms of trace minerals designed for animal feeds - available worldwide under the new brand name. According to the firm, Selko IntelliBond products have high bioavailability compared to inorganic trace minerals, leading to increased animal performance and lower environmental impact. Selko IntelliBond copper and zinc minerals are available for production animals such as piglets, fattener pigs and broilers.
“The IntelliBond brand is well known in North-America. We are excited to take the next step within the extensive network of Trouw Nutrition”, said Kevin Perryman, Director International IntelliBond Business for Micronutrients. “We are looking forward to introducing the livestock industry around the world to these new forms of minerals.”
Feedinfo News Service turned to Martijn Adorf, Managing Director Nutreco Feed Additives – Selko, to find out more about the novelty of hydroxy trace minerals and what’s in store for Selko IntelliBond as the company seeks to launch the range in 33 countries this year.
[Feedinfo News Service] Mr. Adorf, Nutreco acquired Micronutrients in Q1 2016 but the integration process took a year. Would you like to comment?
[Martijn Adorf] We have integrated all the existing resources of Micronutrients into our structure, which allowed us to keep all knowledge and experience in the company. We took last year to prepare our offer for specific customer needs that are different from the U.S. ones. This means we invested in validating the benefits of IntelliBond for local clients’ needs in the rest of the world through trials. We have also invested in the Micronutrients organization to enable them to deal with a global roll out. I’m proud to say that Indianapolis is now our global trace mineral hub. In 2016 Selko IntelliBond was launched through Trouw Nutrition in Brazil and in several countries in Latin America. In January 2017 we launched it in Europe. This year Selko IntelliBond will be launched in 33 countries.
[Feedinfo News Service] IntelliBond was already a successful product. Why was it necessary to re- brand to Selko IntelliBond?
[Martijn Adorf] IntelliBond was more than a successful product; it is the number one brand of trace minerals in the U.S. The re-branding into Selko IntelliBond helps our clients worldwide to identify it as part of the Trouw Nutrition’s feed additives portfolio. We kept the IntelliBond identity and well-known name and integrated it under the umbrella of our feed additives brand: Selko.
Now, as part of our portfolio, Selko IntelliBond is not only sold as a stand-alone product. It is part of several Trouw Nutrition programs, designed to offer integrated solutions to our customers. Our programs are combinations of services, products and nutritional models that support animal and feed producers to face their main challenges. The two main programs where Selko IntelliBond is included are the Trace Mineral Nutrition program and the Natural Gut Health program which is designed to help producers reduce antibiotic use. They are both oriented to solve the key challenges our customers are facing today and aim to help them profitably grow their businesses.
[Feedinfo News Service] What is your view of the global trace minerals market today? Are trace mineral customers ready to switch to hydroxy trace minerals?
[Martijn Adorf] Trace minerals are important feed additives for animal performance and productivity. However, hydroxy trace minerals have major advantages compared to inorganic sources, as better digestibility, sustainability, purity and less interaction with other nutritional components in feed. In addition, Selko IntelliBond’s benefits are comparable to the best performing trace mineral sources at a much more competitive price, bringing more value to the customer. Therefore, we see there is a great potential for Selko IntelliBond worldwide. Based on the scientific data created in the past 20 years, we concluded that for production animals, Selko IntelliBond is the smartest choice for trace minerals with no doubt. The success in the U.S. is proving this.
[Feedinfo News Service] What are the main directives of Trouw Nutrition's plans to strengthen its feed additive foothold in this market?
[Martijn Adorf] Over 20 years IntelliBond has grown into the number one brand for trace minerals in the U.S. We are taking the learnings that drove it to lead the market and will combine them with our own resources and customer insight in other regions. We count on a solid global network that will be fully used to bring Selko IntelliBond to the rest of the world markets. We are bringing together the expertise of Selko IntelliBond inventors and the extensive Trouw Nutrition R&D resources to validate the results specifically adapted to regional needs.
[Feedinfo News Service] In November 2016, Trouw Nutrition launched a global validation program to demonstrate the effectiveness of its nutritional solutions in different geographies and market places. What have you learned about Selko IntelliBond?
[Martijn Adorf] Beside the positive results in the U.S. with the high levels of Cu and Zn in broilers and pigs, we also see improvements in performance in the EU, a region in which lower levels of Cu and Zn are allowed. Poultry data from Spain show improvements in FCR and carcass breakdown. For example a recent trial in broilers proved a two points improvement in FCR using 15ppm copper and 80ppm zinc as IntelliBond, compared to sulphates. That makes a big difference in profitability for producers. Furthermore in piglets we have seen strong improvements in palatability. Our studies show that during the first weeks, when the feed intake is very important, piglets preferred 75% and 80% of their daily intake from IntelliBond over sulphates. Trials in Asia- Pacific are about to start so will be able to share results from that region soon.
[Feedinfo News Service] Last year you said there would be an evolution of Micronutrients’ technological platform. Can you share further details at this time?
[Martijn Adorf] We have embarked a few years ago on doubling our R&D spent at least until 2020. Our first priority is to keep investing in validation trials to ensure that our clients realize the maximum value from their choice of application for Selko IntelliBond. In second place we are exploring the use of Selko IntelliBond’s proprietary technology for other purposes, either related to trace minerals or beyond.
[Feedinfo News Service] In May 2014, Micronutrients tripled the capacity of its manufacturing plant in Indianapolis, Indiana. Now that Selko IntelliBond is part of the Trouw Nutrition’s feed additives portfolio with a global roll-out expected this year, have you identified the need to expand capacity again?
[Martijn Adorf] We will expand the Selko IntelliBond manufacturing capacity in line with the business expansion. A blueprint for such expansion has been drafted, based on the excellent plant we have today in Indianapolis, from which we serve the world. Actually, any customer who wants to visit the Indianapolis plant is welcome to do so. It’s a model plant that now comes with our very strict quality assurance guarantees and we are happy to open its doors for our existing and potential clients. ❑