French animal nutrition specialist Olmix is conducting further research and development into the use of algae to help improve the gut health of pigs, and it expects to have new products available for producers within a year or two, said the company's European business development manager, Olivier Biannic, at SPACE 2012 in Rennes, France, on September 13. 

The company, which is already seeing success with its algae-based products for pigs, saw greater potential for further development of the beneficial effects of algae on pig health and productivity, said Biannic to Pig International. A product the company launched in 2011 — ecopiglet, which helps prepare piglets for weaning — is proving very popular, according to Olmix, and has resulted in a 50 percent improvement in the health of piglets in trials, while the use of antibiotic medications had been reduced by more than 50 percent.

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This news followed a pre-SPACE seminar on “algae, the blue revolution for a sustainable chemistry,” organized in nearby Pontivy, France. Nearly thirty scientists, including Breton specialists in marine sciences and in algae; representatives of research labs; and representatives from CNRS Roscoff, the University of Western Brittany, the University of Southern Brittany, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and the regional SMEs; presented the potential of algae to provide global solutions to the issues of nutrition and health, particularly of animals and plants.