July 10,2018 – INTERVIEW Feedinfo of Khaled Oueslati – Technical Manager NUWEN
NUWEN’s CALSEAPOWDER Attacks Two Costly Cattle Conditions With One Powerful Algae
Algae’s applications in animal nutrition are numerous. It is used to produce fishmeal substitutes for aqua feed, can boost the omega-3 content of feed so that layers produce healthier eggs, and has stunning crude protein and amino acid profiles that could make it interesting as a raw material. Now French algae experts Nuwen, part of the Roullier Group, have come up with a way to apply red algae to some of the most pernicious problems in dairy farming, issues which cost producers tens or even hundreds of euros per cow.
Nuwen’s Calseapowder is useful in combatting the ill effects of heat stress, including acidosis, and also provides a calcium boost to fight against milk fever. Both are universal problems across the dairy industry, and are increasingly concerning for producers. In the words of Dr. Khaled Oueslati, Nuwen’s technical manager, “The risk of heat stress is increasing, especially in countries where the hot season is approaching.” Of course, the economic risks of heat stress are well known; as the digestibility of the ration drops, the dairy cow’s milk production can drop by up to a kg, and milk fat may reduce by 15%.
Calseapowder’s effectiveness as an antacid, Dr. Oueslati says, comes from the combination of two natural marine antacids. Each has unique properties. The first is calcium carbonate, which is present in two different crystalline forms –calcite and aragonite—with different solubility, permitting the substance to have both a short and long-term effect. The second is magnesium carbonate. Mg increases the solubility of calcite, and thus reinforces its antacid effectiveness. Most importantly, though, the combination of both is a “real asset” in his words, because the carbonate is able to neutralize two acids, one after the other.
Meanwhile, the substance’s impact on milk fever, or hypocalcaemia, comes from the fact that it also contains a significant amount of natural minerals. “Its high microporosity and richness in different forms of calcium carbonate make Calseapowder a highly bioavailable source of calcium with a continuous release over time,” Dr. Oueslati observes. At the same time, the palatability and trace mineral profile can also be effective in combatting some of the other problems of heat stress: “increasing ingestion and overcoming losses of trace elements due to sweating and drooling.” Still other elements of Calseapowder, such as its zinc and copper content, assist in the synthesis of antioxidants such as SOD. Even the product’s physical structure contributes to its nutritional value, argues Dr. Oueslati. “The honeycomb structure (microporosity) provides an ecosystem promoting the proliferation of microorganisms and thus contributes to the improvement of the digestibility of the ration.”
At a time when consumers are increasingly tuned into the impacts of their consumption, Calseapowder’s profile is particularly interesting. Of course, treating the distress caused by acidosis is valuable in itself. “[Producers] are more and more sensitive to animal welfare and are looking for effective and natural benefits,” observes Dr. Oueslati. Still, being able to treat it with a natural and effective solution is even better. “In high-performance farms, the problem of acidosis for ruminants is recurrent. Previously, [producers] used chemical solutions,” he says. Calseapowder can offer a different solution that can be used even in organic production systems.
According to Dr. Oueslati, these features have contributed to the product’s popularity; it is used on five continents, and is growing especially strongly in the Asian and North American markets. Moreover, in spite of Nuwen’s focus on the dairy cow market, the product could be used in other ruminants such as beef cattle or sheep, or even in monogastrics with ulcer problems, such as breeding sows. “Some of our customers use it successfully in pork,” he reports.
Meanwhile, the company continues to deepen its expertise in algal solutions (where it also offers products such as Ascophyllum and Spirulina). “Large studies have been launched by the R&D department to identify the composition and better understand the structure of the red algae component of Calseapowder,” Dr. Oueslati acknowledges. “These studies, conducted with major scientific institutions, have made it possible to identify other characteristics of this algae.” He notes that manufacturers should be on the lookout for new products to be launched in 2019.