We all want Innovation and Effectiveness
Nowadays thousand of products with different compositions are available, with the promise of delivering better performance, higher productivity, lower rearing costs, and improvement of the return on investment: theoretically, each of these products is the best ever. But what are the steps for a product to be developed in a scientific way? The Vetagro approach is a good example of this science-based development, to reach the highest effectiveness of products.
First: know your enemy
The first step to create a new product is to have continuous feedback from our partners in the field to choose a specific and interesting target: performance, fertility, transition period, intestinal health, specific pathogens/pathology, etc. After this, it is essential to study the target through deep bibliographic research, studying the current knowledge of the scientific literature about the topic. Only by knowing your enemy you learn how to defeat it.
Second: find out the most promising combinations
Once defined the context of the problem, it is time to define a range of possible active ingredients which can be screened through in vitro systems. As an example, if the product has been designed as an antimicrobial, the activity of each ingredient against pathogens have to be investigated. Then, the most effective will be tested for the antimicrobial activity once in combination: doing so, we can discover some synergistic effect among ingredients and eliminate the worse combinations. At the same time, the effect of the selected active ingredients can be also evaluated through more complex in vitro systems such as cell-cultures, that simulate the in vivo environment and the host reactions. These multiple approaches allow to screen active ingredients properties about several physiological functions like epithelial integrity and functionality, immune and inflammatory response, etc.
This peculiar scientific approach to new products development and our newest results were presented at the Arkansas Nutrition Conference by Dr. Ester Grilli (Sept. 11th-12th 2019) as well as in our previous publications.
Third: technological aspects
Once defined the best active ingredients, it is necessary to create the product in its final form: for example, microencapsulated. The manufacturing process and technological feed additives that we choose for the product are important not only for the stability, handling, and shelf life of the product itself but also to define how the active ingredients will be released and absorbed by the animal after ingestion. For example, our microencapsulation technology, with different granulometry patterns specific for each species, allows the slow release along the entire intestinal tract so that the active ingredients can exert their activity in the most effective way.
Last but not least: effectiveness evaluation
Now the new promising product is safe and ready to be used. Its effectiveness in vivo has to be proved with different trials: the partnership with Universities, research centers, and commercial farms all over the world are essential in this phase. The product will be tested in different environmental conditions and compared to different diets; the effectiveness will be evaluated through experimental/field challenges, during different periods of administration, with different inclusion rates, to determine the best conditions/directions for use to reach the targeted goal.
A long, really successful, work
This is the Vetagro approach: our company has an ongoing commitment to innovative and science-based R&D with a really scientific approach to develop new products and to continuously improve the current offer. This leads to high-tech, cutting edge and cost-effective solutions for different animal needs. Science is the foundation of everything Vetagro does.
- Grilli et al. (2013). J. Appl. Microbiol. 114:308-317