INTERVIEW Feedinfo: Nutriad advocates Digestive Performance Portfolio

Source: Feedinfo News Service, dated 20 April 2015 

20 April 2015 – Erik Visser, CEO of the Nutriad group, recently stated that one of the major driving forces for his company is to find suitable alternatives to antibiotic usage in livestock production, thus following an important global trend. The reduction of antibiotic usage in animal production is also a key driver for Nutriad’s commercial strategy, which centers around its key product groups: Palatability, Mycotoxin Management and Digestive Performance.


In the latter group, the company seeks to further grow its leading position in the butyrates market. “Nutriad has always been a firm advocate of sodium butyrate use, alongside other additives, and we will continue to invest in developing our portfolio and market presence”, Mr. Visser told Feedinfo News Service.According to Visser, Nutriad was the first company to start promoting sodium butyrate as an active ingredient for animal production over 20 years ago. Since then, Nutriad bought Europe’s largest spray drying facility in Spain in early 2001, and has been expanding the plant. Meanwhile, Nutriad has continuously worked on further developing its portfolio, offering both coated and non-coated material.

 The EU ban on AGPs in 2006 obviously boosted interest in Nutriad’s digestive performance range. However, Visser pointed out that the process of banning antibiotics in the EU took place in stages over 30 years. Therefore, it will take time for the rest of the world to follow suit, although Nutriad is already witnessing an increasing interest in other global markets.“We have learned a lot on feed formulation and additive usage in the last few decades that we applied to our products and portfolio. We can use that knowledge in other markets like the US for example, where our customers and partners indicate a growing interest to reduce antibiotic dependency. Exporters in Asia and Latin America are also working with our local teams in introducing our butyrates into their diets”, said Visser. Nutriad is working on several projects related to its butyrate products. The company recently introduced ADIMIX®Easy in Europe: a granulated product, containing 90% butyrate that further complements its range of existing coated and uncoated butyrate products. ADIMIX®Easy has advantages regarding odor and user-friendliness compared to many uncoated butyrate products. According to Visser, it will be introduced in other regions across the world in the course of 2015.  Erik Visser interview picsErik Visser
CEO Nutriad Group


The work on butyrates does not stop there, though. Nutriad has also engaged in long-term partnerships with leading universities. Current research projects at Ghent University (Belgium) and Wageningen University (the Netherlands) specifically aim to explore the various biological, microbiological and physiological effects butyrate can have in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract of production animals.

Nutriad’s CEO commented: “As these projects are already yielding interesting results, we feel confident that they will lead us towards developing next-generation butyrate products in coming years”.

Nutriad’s Digestive Performance product portfolio – which not only consists of butyrates, but also the APEX®, REVITAL®, ULTRACID®, SANACORE® and SENTIGUARD® lines – is developed to support intestinal health in various ways and the modes of action are partially overlapping with, and partially distinct from, the working mechanism of antibiotics. According to Nutriad Business Development Manager Tim Goossens, this is the reason why various Digestive Performance products offer a “unique opportunity” to decrease the customer’s dependency on antibiotics, either those used therapeutically or those used as growth promoters. As do antibiotics, the Digestive Performance portfolio supports optimal animal performance by increasing health.

“Different Digestive Performance products can help achieve improved gut health and function in different contexts. Our ULTRACID® and ADIMIX® lines aim at optimizing gastrointestinal function and development; SANACORE® and SENTIGUARD® provide support during intestinal challenges, while APEX® is a natural growth promoter improving digestion and intestinal microbial composition. REVITAL®, on the other hand, is a liquid product that can quickly be applied in the drinking water during periods of stress”, Goossens commented. SANACORE® is a typical example of a Digestive Performance product that, thanks to its specific composition and application, is used successfully in programs aiming to reduce dependency of for example antibiotics and compounds like ZnO in piglets. As always a positive return on investment remains crucial in the customer’s decision to apply a certain program.


Quorum Sensing

Tim Goossens pict interview
Tim Goossens

Business Development Manager Nutriad Group
Currently for its APEX® botanical line, Nutriad is looking into Quorum Sensing (QS) – a field which has garnered interest in human medicine over the last years – as a means to screen botanicals and select them for the most biologically active components. More specifically to develop the best possible mix of components. Goossens describes QS as a form of biochemical communication that is used by bacterial communities to synchronize their biological activityNutriad began its research program on QS in 2011 and uses QS inhibition as a tool to select compounds that are biologically highly active at very low concentrations, and not to directly tackle bacterial pathogenicity per se.“That being said, we realize that we must be cautious when interpreting the results of our studies”, Goossens added. “Microbial research in general is typically biased towards pathogenic organisms and mechanisms, causing the role of QS in non-virulent mechanisms to be less investigated. Moreover, much of the research on QS is based on the analysis of bacterial reporter strains in vitro, while its relevance for bacterial activity in vivo is less documented, especially in production animals”.


Despite these pitfalls, Nutriad believes that screening botanicals for QS inhibitory activity can be valuable. “Specifically given the concentrations at which feed additive ingredients end up within the intestinal tract of animals, we believe that measuring the capacity to inhibit QS can be a readout that is biologically more relevant at the microbiological level, than only focusing on the bacteriostatic properties of bioactive compounds”, went on to say the Business Development Manager.

Nutriad claims to be a pioneer in applying this field of research to the composition of feed additives.

“We started by screening a list of botanical compounds, that demonstrated beneficial effects on animal performance in our prior research programs, for their capacity to inhibit several QS signaling pathways in vitro. In a next step, we selected for a combination of components able to almost completely abolish QS at very low concentrations. Subsequently, we demonstrated that these mixtures had a positive effect on the viability of microbially challenged model organisms. And in a final step, we showed that the feed additives containing these botanical mixtures were efficacious in improving performance of production animals in field conditions”, Goossens explained.

Nutriad has shared these insights across the world with its customers and distribution partners, noticing more and more interest from the field in the past two years.



Nutriad also highlights the increasing concern regarding the presence of Campylobacter, the leading cause of foodborne illness in the US and in Europe, especially in poultry products.

“Just as with Salmonella, it is critical for poultry producers to implement a management program aimed at maximally reducing levels of this pathogen in the production environment, such as in the drinking water and feed of the animals. However, we believe that in addition to that, strategies to tackle these bacteria within the animal, are an essential part of a complete pathogen control system. For example, it has been estimated that a reduction of intestinal Campylobacter counts of 2 Log10 units would result in a 30-fold decrease of human campylobacteriosis cases”, Goossens said. “As we know that ADIMIX®Precision is able to deliver butyrate in distal parts of the animal’s intestinal tract, which proved to be critical for its success to reduce Salmonella colonization in poultry, we are exploring the effect of this product on Campylobacter counts in broiler caeca as well”.

He added; “As the first data are looking very promising, we hope to be able to present the results of follow-up studies in the near future”.