Alltech Coppens is now offering customers a feed formulation service to boost the consistent performance of feed and support farmers and producers to take control of their profitability. Alltech Coppens considers net energy in its formulation of aquafeed by going the extra step to ensure dependable feed performance. The company said that the formulation not only neutralizes the natural variation of the raw materials in the feed, but also focuses on the differences in the efficiency of the different macronutrients.
Most aquafeed companies formulate their feed based on fixed digestible protein and energy levels, which can in part impact the variation in quality of raw materials when fish feeds are formulated in a flexible way. This means that although the crude nutrients (e.g., protein, fat) might differ slightly between batches of feed, the digestible energy on which the feed is formulated will stay the same between batches.
Recent research from the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre (ACAC) and associated universities have shown that not all forms of the digestible energy are available to use for growth with the same efficiency. By formulating feeds based on net energy, Alltech Coppens not only looks at digestible energy, but also takes into account the differences in efficiency of the different forms of digestible energy. This ensures consistent performance between batches of feed, Alltech stated.
Alltech Coppens has already started to implement this net energy approach in feed evaluation for some trout feeds where the utilization efficiency of the different macronutrients are accounted for as well. Implications of the use of this net energy approach are that the crude analytical values of these products can deviate slightly between batches while keeping the same level of net energy, leading to constant performance. The company believes that with the use of this net energy approach they can make the next step in aquafeed evaluation.
The company said that all their raw materials are always intensively screened at the ACAC. Only raw materials with the highest digestibility are selected. “By implementing this net energy concept, we can better take into account differences in the quality of raw materials throughout the year and therefore ensure more consistent feed quality,” said Patrick Charlton, CEO of Alltech Coppens.
Alltech Coppens has created a selection of feeds that are suitable for the implementation of the net energy concept. The company said that more feed will be available soon.