Asia Pacific, with over 4.5 billion people, is home to nearly 60 percent of the world's population. By 2050 its population is expected to exceed 5 billion people. It is a diverse region, with seven of the world's top ten most populous countries, and some of the world's tiniest island nations.
Feeding a growing population depends on meeting several challenges. The protein industry itself is shifting in response to consumer demand. Consumers now have more of an interest and awareness in the production methods used in their meat and dairy products than ever before.
“How do we feed more than half of the entire world's population living in this region, where resource constraints, e.g. availability of arable land, exist?” And the bigger question is, “How can we feed them high quality protein in a way that is affordable, healthy and sustainable?” pointed out Marc Guinnement, Managing Director at BIOMIN Asia Pacific.
We asked three experts presenting at the Asia Nutrition Forum in October 2017 to comment on the increasing challenge faced by the livestock industry: the rising trend of antibiotic-free animal production in Asia.
Animal protein production is possible without antibiotics
“Feed protein efficiency has thus far often been achieved by the use of antibiotics or antimicrobials, which is undesirable,” explained keynote presenter at the Asia Nutrition Forum, Dr. Theo A. Niewold, Professor of Nutrition and Health at the University of Leuven, Belgium.
“Instead, we can demonstrate that protein efficiency can be maintained without antibiotics by using anti-inflammatory compounds and feeding strategies. This approach will reduce the use of antibiotics, while saving precious protein resources, and is particularly important in view of the increasing human population,” he added.
Tackling modern broiler production woes
Chicken is one of the most common, affordable and accessible meat protein for humans. In modern broiler production, implementing antibiotic-free programs can be tricky, as producers are often challenged with issues including performance, flock uniformity and disease incidence.
Worldwide, birds are inflicted with the rising trend of lameness, which reduces the profitability and efficiency of poultry production with an increase in overall flock mortality, feed conversion ratio, and reduction in body weight gain and flock uniformity.
“Bacterial infections are a major cause of lameness in poultry. Infected bones in lame broiler chickens, turkeys and ducks negatively affect product quality and create food safety concerns,” according to Dr. Robert F. Wideman, Jr., Emeritus Professor at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville AR, USA. “Our research has demonstrated that probiotics can help prevent pathogenic bacteria from crossing the intestinal wall to infect the bones, thereby substantially reducing the incidence of lameness and improving production efficiency,” he commented.
Driving animal performance with the support of gut health
“We’ve witnessed a seismic shift in animal nutrition over the past few years,” noted Dr. Daniel Petri, Global Product Manager Microbials at BIOMIN.
“Feeding has grown to include meeting an animal’s nutritional needs and supporting good gut health. Today, our knowledge of gut health as it relates to better performance has expanded considerably in a short amount of time.”
The Asia Nutrition Forum will offer top industry professionals the opportunity to explore the factors driving the future of the Asian protein economy, with a key focus on the rising trend of antibiotic-free production in Asia.
Asia Nutrition Forum is a by-invitation-only event. Further details including venues, program and speakers are available on http://anf.biomin.net.