Company in the spotlight: Nuscience

Company in the spotlight: Nuscience
12 December 2018 CCC

Nuscience has been a CCC partner for several years now. The company came into contact with the CCC through its mother company Agrifirm. The first program Nuscience took part in was CCC2. At the moment the company is involved in CarboKinetics and CarboBiotics. Geert Bruggeman, R&D Manager of Nutrition Science Belgium, the research department of Nuscience, is closely involved with the CCC: ‘The collaboration suits both sides: we get to coach young scientists, who in their turn inspire us.’

R&D functional feed ingredients

Nuscience specializes in the research and development of functional ingredients for the animal feed industry. Bruggeman: ‘Animal feed consists largely – up to 90% – of bulk, like corn, barley and wheat, to which feed manufacturers add a concentrated mixture of ingredients, that do not occur in the bulk materials themselves. These are, for instance, certain vitamins and minerals, but also prebiotics. This latter ingredient is exactly why we are interested in participating in the CCC programs.’

Contributing to animal health and growth

The functional ingredients are added to the bulk feed in order to improve animal growth and health. Bruggeman: ‘We develop ingredients which make the feed easier to digest, leading to a reduction of the total amount of feed animals need. Our ingredients are also meant to improve animal health, so the use of antibiotics can be reduced. This is important because of the growing antibiotics resistance problem.’

Interested in the impact of carbohydrates

Nuscience joined the CCC because the company was interested in finding out more about the impact of carbohydrates on animal feed. ‘In the current CarboKinetics Program we are looking at how sugar molecules are broken down in the gastroenteric tract. We hope to find out how certain fragments can contribute to animal health. Recent results seem very promising and we are already looking at ways to validate these results and determine their impact on our products.’

High expectations

The new CarboBiotics program just kicked off, so there are no results to report yet. ‘However, we have high expectations,’ says Bruggeman. ‘We hope this program will contribute to a significant reduction of the independence on antibiotics for animal health. This is a very important goal. If we don’t act now, antibiotics resistance will cause a great many disease outbreaks among humans and animals in the future.’

Bridging science and practice

Nuscience’s main contribution to the CCC programs is putting research facilities at the disposal of the scientists and providing them with the circumstances they need to validate their findings. Bruggeman points out how this collaboration bridges scientific and practical knowledge. ‘For instance, a sugar molecule may be active in the laboratory, but can lose its activity completely when it is mixed in with the bulk feed. Such results are very interesting. As a CCC partner we contribute to the creation of a working prototype. Next, it is up to us to refine it in order to realise a product that we can put on the market. In our experience this is a very fast way to achieve commercial success. In our case, the cooperation with CCC has led to several interesting patents which we are currently preparing to introduce on the market. Usually, this takes a lot longer.’