Melon-based feed project targeting poultry feed, gets €2.9 million grant

07-09-2012 | | |
Melon-based feed project targeting poultry feed, gets €2.9 million grant

Lallemand and Bionov innovation project Melofeed, aimed at reducing antibiotic use in animal feed, was granted €2.9 million by the French Government.

The collaborative project Melofeed was selected for governmental funding by the French Inter-ministry Unique Fund (FUI). The objective of this project is the development and marketing of innovative animal feed ingredients extracted from melons.

The Melofeed project aims at developing a range of nutritional ingredients for animal nutrition. This product range will be based on the unique properties of an antioxidant molecule, Superoxyde Dismutase (SOD), which is naturally present in a specific variety of melons. Its preventive use in animal nutrition should help reinforcing the sanitary status and natural defences of farmed animals, and contribute to enhancing farms overall performances.

Primary target species are poultry, swine and aquatic species. Future developments will also concern ruminants and horses.

Innovations issued from the project will be patented and their early development will take into account future market needs and expectations at scientific, technological, regulatory and economic level.

The Melofeed project is a three-year program that combines the complementary expertises and know-how of Bionov (project leader) and Lallemand. It will also benefit from the expertise of INRA Toxalim group (Toulouse), the scientific partner of the project. 

The project comprises of 3 main parts:

  • Development of specific cultivation methods and industrial processes, formulation and galenic, in order to optimise the production of an existing ingredient based on concentrated melon juice for animal nutrition (Melofeed, distributed by Lallemand Animal Nutrition).
  • In vitro studies and documentation about the modes of action and biological effects of Melofeed.
  • Validation in animal production setting of the ingredient’s benefits: immunity, reproduction, maturity, performance.

The project has also been approved by several French Competitiveness clusters in the agrifood sector (QUALIMEDITERRANEE, PEIFL and AGRIMIP).

Scope of the project
The Melofeed project is representative of national and European strategies in the field of food safety, sustainability, animal welfare and competitiveness. The technological and industrial alternatives that will be developed during the project shall enable to help manage oxidative stress and inflammatory states and their consequences, in particular in cases of viral or bacterial infections or physiological challenges (e.g. weaning or fecundation). By enabling to support immunity, this kind of development is in-line with the present regulatory guidelines of antibiotic usage reduction in animal production. Moreover, initial experimental validation studies have shown that SOD can also help improve fecundity, newborn maturity, as well as the quality of animal end-products.

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