The Honorable Ed Holder, Canadian Minister of State (Science and Technology), has announced a three-year project collaboration between Elanco Animal Health and Concordia University to develop new enzyme combinations for Canadian pork and poultry producers. The goal of the project is to create commercial enzyme products for pork and poultry feed that significantly improve feed conversion, thus improving producer profit margins.

The project will be funded by Elanco, the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et des Exportations du Québec through Genome Quebec and the government of Canada through Genome Canada.

“Today, up to 25% of the components in pork and poultry feed remain unused because the animals lack the enzymes required for digestion,” said Allan Boonstra, director of Elanco Animal Health. “Feed costs make up about 70% of the cost of producing pork and poultry, so this project has the potential to generate significant value for producers.” 

Dr. Adrian Tsang from Concordia and Dr. Paul Matzat from Elanco will lead the project. The work will involve screening proprietary enzymes for digestibility of common ingredients found in Canadian pork and poultry feed. Commercial products suited for the Canadian feed market are expected to result in significant improvements in feed conversion.

“Upon successful completion, this project is expected to provide benefits in the form of lower production costs, increased global competitiveness for swine and poultry producers, and more competitively priced meat and eggs,” said Marc Lepage, CEO of Genome Quebec. “In terms of feed production, we can also expect reduced land use and increased use of Canadian grains such as canola.”

Dr. Pierre Meulien, President and CEO of Genome Canada, added, "This project is one of several academic-industry partnership projects receiving funding under Genome Canada's new Genomic Applications Partnership Program, which was designed to facilitate industry engagement in Canadian R&D. Companies such as Elanco are seizing the opportunity to leverage Canada's strong genomics science and technology capacity for the benefit of their business and the Canadian economy." 

The project complements Elanco’s mission to help the global food chain deliver a safe, affordable and sufficient food supply. Boonstra continued, “We believe innovation in sustainable food production is one of the most important mechanisms to feeding a growing global population. Elanco anticipates this project will lead to expanded research and development in Quebec and throughout Canada.”