Highlights of the first Virtual All About Feed Forum

On May 27 the first ever Virtual All About Feed Forum took place. A line-up of noteworthy experts from the feed industry presented their insights on various topics; this article highlights just a few.


Regiane Santos, a researcher at Schothorst Feed Research, showed the results of a study on the transmission of mycotoxins from sow to piglet.

he event kicked off with a presentation from Sonja de Vries, a professor at Wageningen University & Re- search addressing the fact that circularity will be a critical ingredient for a future sustainable food sys-

tem. She highlighted the role of animals in this future food system and the need for a shift in feed resources towards more use of waste streams. Several challenges must be over- come before this shift is practically feasible. Sonja de Vries: “ We will be confronted with new products that have variable quality because of pre-processing. And a lot of these waste products have high fibre and ash contents and that would an have impact on the nutritional value and the processing of feed.” To overcome these challenges we need to look beyond the traditional fibre parameters and take account of the di- versity of fibre fractions in feed formulation. In addition, Son- ja de Vries says that to improve the nutritional value of these

products it is important to optimise feed processing and feeding systems. “The use of these feed resources will change the dry-matter content of feed and will require new processing and feeding systems.” That animals can have a role in our future food system, if we shift towards a circular system, was underlined by Hannah van Zanten, also a professor at Wageningen University & Re- search. In her presentation she pointed out that cows and pigs are the most suitable species for a circular system: “Cows make use of the grasslands that are already available and, when needed, it’s possible to add some high quality feeds from leftovers in their diets. And pigs are most capable of eating food waste; they’re not picky”. Animals that could also play a role in this transition towards a more circular food system are insects. This became clear during the presentation by IPIFF Executive committee mem- ber Aman Paul. Aman Paul: “Up to a third of the food waste in the EU could be fed to insects. The reared insects could be used to extract proteins and fats for valuable food and feed products.”

Feed safety risks Safe feed will lead to safe food, and it is therefore of great im- portance that the safety of animal feed is taken into account. During the Virtual All About Feed Forum several experts provided insights into this topic from different angles. Raw materials can be contaminated with for example bacteria, vi- ruses, parasites and mycotoxins. Regiane Santos, a researcher at Schothorst Feed Research showed the results of a study on the transmission of mycotoxins from sow to piglet. From the study it appears that Zearalenone (ZEN) and Deoxynivalenol (DON) can be transmitted via colostrum and milk. Exposure to 300 ppb ZEN resulted in a decrease in backfat thickness at farrowing, effecting colostrum production and milk quality. In addition, the piglets experienced a decrease in estradiol levels during lactation. Regiane: “This will affect the reproductive life of these animals in the future.” A topic that has been receiving more attention lately is the spread of viruses via feed. Vincent ter Beek editor of Pig

8 ▶ ALL ABOUT FEED | Volume 29, No. 5/6, 2021

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