TwentyGreen probiotic transforms the future of farming16.02.2016 13:20
TwentyGreen produces a triple active probiotic that addresses the three major problems of intensive animal farming. The new probiotic innovated at the EPFL, Switzerland, results in better digestion and responses to plant-based feeds, better feed conversion, less disease and less pollution. The start-up is currently planning to upscale production of their product and to perform field trials.
TwentyGreen was established in October 2015 at Technopark Luzern as a spin-off of the EPFL. The start-up, TwentyGreen, has developed a new probiotic feed supplement for sustainable animal farming, exerting several beneficial effects simultaneously.
The TwentyGreen probiotic is as a result of the research in intestinal health at EPFL in Switzerland. In their analysis, the team identified a naturally occurring group of micro-organisms that enhance the quality of the gut ‘microbiota’, a consortium of symbiotic organisms colonizing the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, that are essential for metabolizing food and activating natural immune defences. Subsequently, the probiotic feed supplement was tested in mice and fish achieving up to 15% better growth rates and reducing parasitic burden by 25%. A patent application for their product has been submitted.
The feed supplement achieves three major goals of the animal farming industry at the same time; animals grow faster, healthier as well as create less waste and pollution – hence they receive the same amount of feed thereby reducing feeding costs, they require less antibiotic interventions which ease disease burden and antibiotic effluence as well as reduce the ecological impact of animal farming. The current on-going activities include production, animal-trial and quality-control supply chain which are located in Switzerland. This geographical setting gives them utmost advantage by virtue of fact that Switzerland is renowned for its high quality, reliability, safe and responsible products.
Based on initial interviews conducted, animal farmers and retailers expressed strong interest in the TweetyGreen’s innovative solution. “For that reason therefore the start-up is currently applying for funding in order to upscale production of the Probiotic and to perform field trials with partners in agriculture including Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FIBL) for the development of an organic version of the feed supplement to protect naturally (chemical free) against parasites.” Says Sutherland, CEO TwentyGreen
TwentyGreen’s aim is to gain a 10% share of the world animal feed probiotic market, which is worth over $4 billion per year and growing rapidly. Due to the important regulatory obligations involving human food and animal feed, commercialization of the feed supplement necessitates extensive R&D actions in collaboration with a highly competent academic partners such as EPFL and "we are also fortunate to have the Head of the Pharmacy Unit at the University of Geneva, Prof. Allémann, who is collaborating with us on the commercial formulation of the product,” comments Sutherland.
TwentyGreen is also applying to have the innovative product registered as a feed additive by the European Research Lab for Feed Additives (EURL-FA), and expect sales of its product to result in better digestion of sustainable plant based feed ingredients by farmed animals and to boost their natural protection against infectious parasites (reducing the need for antibiotics).
The probiotic feed supplement won the TwentyGreen an award at MassChallege startup Summit for it addresses the major challenges farmers are confronted with., Duncan Sutherland TwentyGreen’s CEO, affirms in his pitch that, “feeding over 9 billion people by 2050 is going to be one of the major challenges and in reality the only way we are going to change that is through intensive animal farming. But animal farming has three major problems; firstly animal feed is very expensing, secondly, diseases spread very quickly when animals are stocked at high density and thirdly, they produce a lot of pollution. The solution to this is to use probiotics that enhance growth and promotes better health.”