Safeguarding for feed Safeguarding for feed

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Safeguarding for feed
  With production of safe feed and food, a high priority for the industry, both now and in the future,
  FS spoke with Ulrich Heindl, PhD, Senior Technical Manager Asia Pacific, BASF, to see how this is
  being achieved.

FS. What are the major requirements for producing high quality             the product is safe for the user, the animal, the environment and the
feed additives for animals?                                                final consumer of animal products. Intensive evaluation like toxicol-
UH. Government bodies in most of the counties in the world have            ogy studies, carcinogenic studies, tolerance studies, residue tests, sen-
definitions and regulations on the production and use of feed addi-        sory studies and performance studies are the basis for getting this
tives. To be registered for use in animal production, feed additives       approval in many parts of the world.
have to show proven safety and efficacy. The emphasis is on safety
for the consumer, the animals and the environment. In order to guar-       FS. The use of herbicides, fungicides and the general use of chemi-
antee the safety of a feed additive, long-term toxicology studies and      cals, etc. is generally considered bad for the environment. What is
tolerance trials need to be carried out and the manufacturer of the        BASF’s standing on environmental protection?
additive must demonstrate that the product is safe to use for the feed     UH. Environmental protection plays a central role when BASF
manufacturer and the farmer.                                               researchers develop new products. A high-quality product must be
     The implementation of a food safety policy demands the trace-         environmentally compatible if it is to be accepted by our customers.
ability of feed and food and their ingredients. This requires the intro-   Economic efficiency and environmental protection are therefore close-
duction of adequate procedures to facilitate such traceability.            ly linked when we develop innovative processes. Our knowledge means
Suppliers of raw materials like feed additives, feed producers, food       that BASF’s specialists are valued as partners in promoting environ-
business and the consumers themselves, all have a responsibility for       mentally-friendly technologies in emerging economies.
food safety throughout the complete food chain.                                 Our environmental and safety goals comply with the principles
                                                                           of Responsible Care – a voluntary global initiative of the chemical
FS. In what way does BASF’s broad-based range of products help             industry that BASF has committed itself to since 1992. Responsible
farmers to obtain and conserve resources?                                  Care aims to achieve continuous improvements in the areas of envi-
UH. BASF has a wide range of products in its portfolio, which              ronmental protection, safety and product stewardship, as well as
improve the utilisation of natural resources. One example is the           occupational safety, occupational health and dialogue. A global net-
enzyme phytase (Natuphos), which is used to improve the utilisation        work of experts manages our activities in all these fields.
of phosphorus in plant materials like corn, wheat and soybean meal
or by products. By improving the utilisation of this plant phospho-        FS. So how do you ensure that your business activities are consistent
rus the addition of inorganic phosphorus to animal feed in the form        with your policy of ecological and social responsibility? Is there a
of dicalciumphosphate or monocalciumphosphate can be reduced               trade-off?
and therefore does conserve natural resources.                             UH. BASF’s principles formally state how we want to conduct our-
                                                                           selves in day-to-day business.
FS. How do you ensure the safety of your feed additive products                 We are aware of the high expectations that confront us. We wel-
both for the animal and the consumer?                                      come the challenge to be measured against them. As a transnational
UH. All feed additives produced by BASF undergo a very compre-             company, we have to comply with different legal issues and cultural
hensive testing and evaluation before they are released to the market.     conditions. It is our desire that we continuously direct our actions so
The market for feed additives is a very regulated market and BASF          that we can fully achieve our self-established standards and height-
complies with the regulations and requirements set by the authori-         en the image of the company.
ties. The most recent feed additive introduced by BASF is a replace-            We act in a responsible manner and support the responsible care
ment for antibiotic growth promoters. This product is the only             initiatives. Economic considerations do not take priority over safety
approved alternative in the EU and parts of Asia after showing that        and health issues and environmental protection.

100     FS

    We encourage awareness of safety, health and environmental           UH. Consumers buy food based on whether they can trust its
issues among our employees and strive for continuous improve-            quality. BASF, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of prod-
ment through agreed-upon objectives.                                     ucts for animal and human nutrition, is participating in a data-
    We produce products that are safe to manufacture, use, recy-         base project that allows food traceability. This computerised trac-
cle or dispose.                                                          ing system enables seamless documentation of all ingredients and
    We support our customers to use our products safely and in           processing steps in the food production chain.
an environmentally sound manner.                                             The tracing project is supported by the Norwegian govern-
    We minimise the impact on mankind and the environment                ment and monitored by independent research institutes.
during production, storage, transportation, sale, use and disposal       Companies at all stages of the value-adding chain are participat-
of our products.                                                         ing in the project – from animal feed manufacturers to salmon
                                                                         farms and processing companies to retail distributors. As a man-
FS. Recent years have seen numerous food scares (BSE, avian flu,         ufacturer of animal feed additives, BASF is part of the value-
etc.). How have you seen the animal feed market change in this peri-     adding chain.
od? In what ways is the industry taking more responsibility for safe         By participating in this project, BASF is making an active
food production as a result of such scares?                              contribution to sustainable development in the food sector. We
UH. Food scares have a strong influence on consumers indepen-            want to provide consumers with proof that our products meet the
dently of the development stage of a country. Even developing            highest quality standards and are safe to use.
countries showed a very strong reaction in terms of reduced meat             In an eco-efficiency analysis, BASF’s astaxanthin product
consumption after the incidence of avian influenza. In order to          Lucantin Pink, which is used in salmon farming, was rated con-
protect consumers, authorities have reacted and
implemented tighter regulations on feed and ani-
mal production. For a producer of feed additives        Ulrich Heindl
                                                                                     “Through consistent
this means that in the long run only products
that can prove themselves in terms of efficiency                                     development of existing and
and safety will be permitted for the use in animal
production. The feed additive and the feed pro-
                                                                                     new additives, BASF has
ducers have to take more responsibility for what                                     now achieved a leading
they release into the food chain. That means the
feed additive producer has to prove his commit-                                      position in the world market
ment by going through the costly and complicat-                                      for feed supplements”
ed process of product registration. BASF is com-
mitted to supplying feed additives to the indus-
try, which have undergone all the necessary testing and evalua-          siderably superior to comparable products. The analysis
tions and have been proven to be safe for the user, the environ-         proves that BASF’s synthesis process for this carotenoid uses sig-
ment and the consumer.                                                   nificantly fewer resources than alternative astaxanthin produc-
                                                                         tion methods via fermentation or algae farming. The BASF
FS. Do you think consumer confidence in food is a problem at the         method requires approximately one fourth of the raw materials
moment, and do consumers demand more today?                              and about 12-15 percent of the energy normally consumed by
UH. Consumer confidence is certainly becoming more important             comparable processes.
especially in regions with a lower degree of regulatory and control
mechanisms. This increasing concern in food safety in developing         FS. Are you set to be involved in any other similar projects?
countries is a positive trend helping to improve the health status and   UH. BASF has been active in the field of feed supplements for
wellbeing of people. In this context consumers demand more trans-        over 25 years.
parency in the food production chain and stricter control of the             Through consistent development of existing and new addi-
usage of feed additives. BASF is supporting this development and         tives, BASF has now achieved a leading position in the world
offers a range of products related to improvements of feed safety and    market for feed supplements. Our portfolio comprises vitamins,
therefore food safety.                                                   vitamin combinations, carotenoids, amino acids, enzymes,
                                                                         organic acids and other products. Our long-term commitment to
FS. BASF is currently participating in a new project designed to         this business sector is a safeguard for the success of our cus-
trace salmon from ‘farm to fork’ to boost sales through customer         tomers and the production of safe feed and food – both now and
confidence. Can you tell me more about this?                             in the future. ■

102    FS

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