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Articles from 2013 In June

Study quantifies diverted food waste

Study quantifies diverted food waste

FOOD manufacturers and retailers generated an estimated 48.1 billion lb. of food waste in 2011 but successfully diverted 91.5% of food waste from landfills to higher uses such as donations and recycling.

In the first-ever benchmark analysis of food waste data collected directly from food manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, researchers found that the food industry is making significant strides in reducing the volume of food going to landfills during the manufacturing and marketing process.

Commissioned by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance — a cross-sector industry initiative led by the Grocery Manufacturers Assn., the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Assn. — the study gathered 2011 food waste data from 13 food manufacturers representing 17% of industry revenue and from 13 retailers and wholesalers representing 30% of industry revenue.

Based on those survey respondents' data, consulting firm BSR estimated that the food manufacturing sector generates considerably larger volumes of food waste than the retail/wholesale sector but does a considerably better job of diverting that waste. The report estimated food manufacturing waste of 44.3 billion lb., 94.6% of which was kept from landfills and put to other uses.

The retail/wholesale sector, on the other hand, generated only 3.8 billion lb. of waste but diverted only 55.6% of that waste to higher uses.

According to the analysis, roughly 73% of manufacturing food waste was diverted to animal feed, while food donations and composting were the most common diversion for food waste at the retail and wholesale level, representing 32% and 43% of diverted food, respectively (Figure).

Despite significant differences in the total amount of food waste the sectors generate, they donated and disposed of similar amounts in 2011. Manufacturers disposed of 2.4 billion lb. and donated 700 million lb., while the retail/wholesale sector disposed of 1.7 billion lb. and donated 670 million lb.

Gauging industry-wide performance, however, belies the vast differences among companies within each sector. Among food manufacturers, for example, food donations averaged just 2% of total waste but ranged from as little as 0% to as much as 45% of a company's total waste.

The study found that food waste generated through manufacturing tends to be made up of unused ingredients, unfinished product or trimmings, peels and other unavoidable food waste. The large volume of food and relatively few manufacturing sites create economies of scale that allow manufacturers to recycle waste at a high rate.

Conversely, food waste at the retail level tends to consist of finished products that are more suitable for donation. Numerous locations and diverse product offerings make food waste diversion a significant logistical challenge for many retailers.

More than three-quarters (77%) of respondents indicated that there are barriers, either internal or external, preventing their company from donating more unsaleable food and cited several common barriers that prevented them from diverting more food waste from landfills to other higher uses.

Transportation constraints and liability concerns were the most commonly cited barriers for food donation, while the most frequently reported obstacle to food recycling was an insufficient number of recycling options (Tables 1 and 2).

"The primary objective of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance is to reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfill by addressing the root causes of waste and securing pathways to donate safe food or recycle it for use elsewhere," said Susan Kujava, industry relations director at General Mills Inc. and co-chair of the alliance. "This new (information) not only helps us better understand how industry currently is managing food waste; it gives us a benchmark against which we can measure our progress."


Study quantifies diverted food waste

1. Barriers to donating food (%)




Transportation constraints



Liability concerns



Insufficient storage and refrigeration at food banks



Regulatory constraints



Insufficient on-site storage and refrigeration




2. Barriers to recycling food waste (%)




Insufficient recycling options



Transportation constraints



Liability concerns



Concerns about collection and storage relative to food safety




Volume:85 Issue:26

School snack rule finalized

School snack rule finalized

THE U.S. Department of Agriculture rolled out its latest installment of First Lady Michelle Obama's healthier school meal laws with an interim final rule for its "Smart Snacks in School" nutrition standards.

The new standards set calorie, sodium, sugar and fat limits on snack/vending machine food items as well as a la carte items. Any foods available in schools must be a "whole-grain-rich" grain product or have as the first ingredient a fruit, vegetable, dairy product or protein food.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack explained that the rule will allow schools to move away from foods and beverages like sports drinks with high sugar amounts and replace them with lower-calorie ones. In addition, snacks must be more nutritionally dense. Vending machine snacks must have 200 calories or less, and a la carte items may not have more than 350 calories.

Elementary schools may sell up to 8 oz. beverage portions, while middle schools and high schools may sell up to 12 oz. portions of milk and juice. There is no portion size limit for plain water.

The intent of the standards is not to limit popular snack items but, instead, to provide healthier snack foods for students. For example, chips would still be allowed, but in healthier versions such as baked tortilla chips, reduced-fat corn chips and baked potato chips, USDA said.

"We want to make the healthy choice the easy choice," Vilsack said.

He added that the move helps send a more consistent nutrition message in schools as the nation deals with a growing obesity epidemic. He said it also helps reinforce the positive influence many parents are trying to convey at home, as 80% of Americans support improved nutrition standards at the school level.

At least 39 states currently have some kind of competitive foods standard already in place. In addition, thousands of schools have already taken voluntary steps to enact competitive standards that meet or exceed those USDA released. The new standards establish a consistent national baseline.

Rick Goff, executive director for the Office of Child Nutrition for the West Virginia Department of Education, noted that, in 2007, an Institute of Medicine report released recommendations that were mirrored in the interim rule. West Virginia quickly adopted those standards, and Goff said the state has already started reaping the benefits of the changes.

He added that West Virginia did extensive education for everyone from vendors to school administrators through workshops, webinars and quarterly meetings and also established a website for hosting parents' nutrition calculators.

Many schools have implemented voluntary standards with little or no loss of revenue, and some schools have reported an increase in revenue after introducing healthier foods.

Exact revenue dollar figures vary for individual states, school districts and schools, but USDA's review of the existing evidence on revenue impacts indicated that, on a national scale, any changes would most likely be very minimal, in the range of 1% of total school food revenues.

Vendors and schools will have a full year to adjust and reformulate snacks, Vilsack said.

USDA said it will do all it can to simplify any necessary transition for schools, such as by offering training and technical assistance to address challenges as they arise.

The standards do not apply to items sold during non-school hours, weekends or off-campus fund-raising events, such as concessions during sporting events and school plays.

In addition, USDA has no role in regulating foods brought from home. Therefore, any foods brought in as treats for birthdays or foods at afterschool sporting events are not subject to these standards.

USDA received nearly 250,000 stakeholder comments from parents, teachers, school foodservice professionals and the food and beverage industry and said it based the interim rule on that feedback.

USDA is seeking comments on these standards. The formal 120-day comment period is open through Oct. 28. The agency is also seeking ongoing feedback during implementation of the standards so it can make any needed tweaks to the standards based on real-world experience.

Volume:85 Issue:26

Productivity gains not enough to feed 9b

Productivity gains not enough to feed 9b

GLOBAL food production may not be accelerating rapidly enough to support estimated global needs by 2050, according to a new report published by the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment (IonE).

Based on an analysis of global crop yield trends and population estimates, the report predicts that agricultural production needs to increase 60% to feed the growing population, but current yield trends do not support that level of growth.

In the study, published June 19 in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers assessed production statistics from around the world and found that yields of four key crops — maize, rice, wheat and soybeans — are increasing 0.9-1.6% per year (Table), which would indicate an increase of just 38% by 2050, falling short of the projected 60% increase needed.

Previous research at the University of Minnesota found that, in many regions of the world, yields for staple crops have stagnated or actually declined (Feedstuffs, Dec. 24, 2012).

"Particularly troubling are places where population and food production trajectories are at substantial odds," IonE researcher Deepak Ray, lead author of the study, said. "For example, in Guatemala, the corn-dependent population is growing at the same time corn productivity is declining."

Ray and colleagues said boosting crop yields is considered a preferred solution to meeting demands rather than clearing more land for agriculture — a concept some are now referring to as "sustainable intensification."

The concept is supported by leading environmental thought leaders such as the World Wildlife Fund's Jason Clay, who told agricultural journalists in May that intensive production is far preferable to "agricultural sprawl" from an environmental sustainability standpoint.

According to the IonE report, increasing agricultural production is one of several strategies necessary to feed 9 billion people by 2050. The researchers pointed out that additional strategies, such as reducing food waste, can also help achieve the large food demand estimates.

"Clearly, the world faces a looming agricultural crisis, with yield increases insufficient to keep up with projected demands," said IonE director Jon Foley, a co-author on the study. "The good news is, opportunities exist to increase production through more efficient use of current arable lands and increased yield growth rates by spreading best management practices. If we are to boost production in these key crops to meet projected needs, we have no time to waste."

The IonE analysis of the potential production gap follows on the heels of a U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization report predicting slower agricultural growth over the next decade (Feedstuffs, June 24). The report projects production growth to average only 1.5% per year through 2022, compared with annual growth of 2.1% from 2003 to 2012.

As with the IonE study, FAO leaders last month discussed the notion that increasing production is not enough to solve the challenge of food insecurity. Nobel economics laureate Amartya Sen told FAO delegates that eradicating hunger will require a focus on all causes of hunger, particularly poverty, and not simply on producing more food (Feedstuffs, June 24).

Food waste, in particular, has gotten considerable attention in recent months. A study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) found that as much as half of food is wasted (Feedstuffs, Jan. 28), and IMechE's Tim Fox told members of the International Food & Agribusiness Management Assn. last month that the world actually produces enough food to feed the growing populace, if the issue of food waste is adequately addressed.


Productivity challenges

Nonetheless, agricultural productivity remains a key piece of the food security puzzle. China and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) — two regions where agricultural productivity could make a huge difference in feeding the world — both need to show significant productivity improvements to feed their burgeoning populations over the next three decades.

A recent analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) points out that China saw average annual agricultural output growth of 5.1% between 1985 and 2007 but cautions that such a rapid growth rate may not have been sustained in recent years. Total factor productivity growth peaked between 1996 and 2000 at 5.1% per year, slowed to 3.2% between 2000 and 2005 and actually declined by 3.7% per year in 2005-07.

In the SSA region, meanwhile, numerous challenges exist in achieving significant gains in total factor productivity and overall agricultural production.

For example, a recent ERS paper identified a "small-country problem," pointing out that with 48 separate nations in the SSA region, developing efficient systems of national agricultural research, regulation and investment must be repeated in each individual country.

"Raising agricultural productivity in SSA to meet the needs of the region's rapidly rising population, reduce the region's poverty and stimulate broad-based economic growth may be among the most significant challenges facing the global food and agricultural system," the ERS report concludes.


Global production statistics for yields of four key crops






Mean yield change per year (%)





Mean yield change per year (kg/hectare)





Projected avg. yield in 2025 (tons/hectare)





Projected avg. yield in 2050 (tons/hectare)





Projected production in 2025 (mil. tons/year) at fixed crop harvested areas of 2008





Projected production in 2050 (mil. tons/year) at fixed crop harvested areas of 2008





Projected production shortfall in 2025 compared to rate that doubles production by 2050 (mil. tons)





Projected production shortfall in 2050 compared to rate that doubles production by 2050 (mil. tons)





Required extra land (mil. hectares) to produce shortfall at 2025 projected yields





Required extra land (mil. hectares) to produce shortfall at 2050 projected yields





Yield in 2008 (tons/hectare)






Volume:85 Issue:26

Defining sustainable beef

Defining sustainable beef

WHILE the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative's new farmer self-assessment checklist provides growers of arable and specialty crops with a tool to define and assess sustainability, it does not offer any such clarity for livestock producers.

In fact, the checklist includes only dairy and beef production as part of its six focus areas, and beef was a recent addition at the behest of McDonald's.

One of the reasons for the omission in the pilot checklist is that defining what constitutes sustainable livestock farming is not an easy task. Given wide differences around the globe in climate, available forage and grains, water resources and cultural and management practices, beef production differs considerably from one region to another.

Taking those differences into account while carefully constructing a definition of sustainable beef production, however, is a challenge that was recently accepted by a working group within the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), which includes representatives from major beef-producing countries Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada and the U.S. as well as the European Union.

An April meeting in Chicago, Ill., launched the effort, which is expected to be completed later this year and presented to the next Global Conference on Sustainable Beef slated for early 2014 in Brazil.

"It is imperative that a full range of subject matter experts in the many areas of beef sustainability be involved in this process," said Bryan Weech, a member of the GRSB executive committee and director for livestock at the World Wildlife Fund. "We need to assure that all areas and points of view are represented so that the definition developed is as accurate and complete as possible."

The working group agreed to a set of "credibility principles" as part of the effort, including a commitment to clearly and objectively define sustainability, gathering a diverse but balanced group of stakeholders and engaging other relevant initiatives in an impartial, transparent and inclusive manner.

GRSB executive director Rory Petre, who is also chairing the working group, said there was no plan in place to develop a seal, certification or comparable standard for sustainable beef. The group will instead work to define sustainability based on core principles developed during the April meeting: people, community, animal well-being, food, natural resources, efficiency and innovation.

Volume:85 Issue:26

AMA calls obesity a disease

AMA calls obesity a disease

THE American Medical Assn. (AMA), at its annual meeting, adopted a position that defines obesity as a disease and urges that medical interventions be used to prevent and treat obesity.

AMA said, in the U.S., obesity is an epidemic, doubling among adults and tripling among children in the last 20 years, and adult obesity could affect almost half of U.S. adults by 2030.

AMA noted that obesity also is linked to other diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancer.

Recognizing obesity as a disease will help lead to changes in the way physicians tackle this complex issue, AMA board member Patrice Harris said in announcing the position.

AMA suggested that its position means that obesity medications and treatments could be coverable by health insurance.

However, some members of the AMA House of Delegates were skeptical, suggesting that while obesity is an epidemic, a risk factor for other diseases and a "scourge" on society, that does not "alone make it a distinct medical disease."

AMA also approved resolutions that call for sugar-sweetened beverages to no longer be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and a prohibition on marketing energy drinks to people under 18 years old.

Volume:85 Issue:26

FSIS grants inspection to equine slaughter plant

According to a June 28 "Constituent Update," the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a grant of inspection to a horse slaughter establishment, Valley Meats Co., in Roswell, N.M. FSIS said it expects two other applicants to be ready to receive grants of inspection for equine slaughter in the coming days.

The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) requires federal inspection of amenable species when slaughtered for human food and prepared for commerce. Horses, mules and other equines are among the livestock species that are amenable under the FMIA, FSIS said.

Beginning in fiscal 2006, Congress prohibited the use of federal funds to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel to perform ante-mortem inspection of equines intended to be slaughtered for human consumption. Without ante-mortem inspection, no horse meat is eligible for the FSIS mark of inspection, and without the mark, no horse meat can move in commerce. Thus, the effect of this prohibition was to end the slaughter of equines in the U.S. The prohibition continued from 2007 to 2011.

However, Congress has not continued this prohibition and did not include it for the use of appropriated funds in the fiscal 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Act. Therefore, FSIS said if an establishment meets and complies with all of the FSIS requirements for equine slaughter and processing, FSIS must grant federal inspection to the establishment.

FSIS explained that horses are not allowed to be slaughtered and horse meat is not allowed to be processed in the same facility as other species in the United States.

More information on FSIS' inspection of equine slaughter can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ horses/horses.html .

Needless to say, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animal Welfare Institute and Animal Protection of New Mexico expressed their dismay over the decision.

Mechanisms involved in superdosing phytase

Mechanisms involved in superdosing phytase

*Aaron J. Cowieson is with the Poultry Research Foundation at the University of Sydney in Australia. Mike Bedford is with AB Vista in the U.K. Tara York and Craig L. Wyatt are with AB Vista in the U.S.

THE term "superdosing phytase" has recently been defined and exploitation strategies discussed (Feedstuffs, Jan. 28).

However, the mechanisms involved require further understanding in order to maximize the magnitude and consistency of the animal response.

This article provides a brief overview of the most likely mechanisms involved and will identify knowledge gaps.



Phytate is a unique dietary component in that, although it is a nutritional impediment, its components are biologically and economically valuable. Thus, the net benefit achieved via the removal of dietary phytate is a function of: (1) the reduction in phytate concentration, (2) the increase in phosphate concentration and (3) the increase in myo-inositol concentration.

This is, of course, simplistic, and the true net effect of the hydrolysis of phytate will depend on many other factors such as diet nutrient density and balance, bird age, feed form and so on. It is very difficult to decide from the observed response in animal trials what proportion of the response is delivered via each of the three contributing elements. However, it is firmly believed that these three components play a significant role in the positive response observed with the use of a phytase and, more specifically, to the performance enhancement observed when superdosing a phytase.

This article will briefly summarize these contributing mechanisms and suggest strategies by which animal performance may be maximized by superdosing phytase.


Phytate destruction

If phosphate release and the resulting inositol liberation are conceptually removed as potential contributing mechanisms, then the effect of phytate per se may become apparent.

Unfortunately, this is virtually impossible to achieve experimentally because even where phytate has been added to a diet, this will simultaneously alter both the available phosphorus (aP) and inositol status.

Nonetheless, the effect of dietary phytate concentration on the weight gain of broilers has been approximated previously, and the composite view is that 1% phytate (around 0.28% phytate-phosphorus) will depress broiler weight gain by around 5-7% (Cabahug et al., 1999; Liu et al., 2008a and b; Liu et al., 2009).

This view excludes reports where a phytate-free diet was used as a control, which may not offer a fair representation.

This depression in weight gain due to the anti-nutritive properties of phytate has been well established for both pigs and poultry (Selle et al., 2012). It follows logically that, at high concentrations, the anti-nutritive effects will be more pronounced than at low concentrations, so the negative effect on animal performance will be greater. What's important, in these few reports, the negative effect of phytate on weight gain is not associated with a change in feed intake. Thus, the removal of dietary phytate may be one route to improving the feed conversion ratio (FCR) of poultry and pigs.

For example, Liu et al. (2008a) found that in young Cobb 500 broilers, increasing phytate-phosphorus from 0.22% to 0.44% in diets with equivalent aP concentrations resulted in an increase (P < 0.05) in FCR from 1.49 to 1.57 with no change (P > 0.05) in feed intake.

In the same experiment, the addition of 500 FTU/kg of microbial phytase resulted in an increase (P < 0.05) in feed intake, showing that the removal of phytate per se may not influence intake, but the liberation of phosphorus may.

So, in a standard broiler or pig diet with around 1% phytate, removing this phytate via the use of superdoses of phytase may deliver around a 5% improvement in weight gain with no change in feed intake. These effects are most likely mediated via reduced maintenance requirements through lower endogenous loss of amino acids, minerals and energy (Cowieson et al., 2009).

The increases often see in feed intake when phytases are added to phosphorus-deficient diets is, therefore, unlikely to be related to phytate destruction per se but, rather, can be explained via the corresponding release of phosphate.


Phosphate release

The release of phosphorus from phytate by the action of phytase is well accepted, so it will not be discussed exhaustively here. Suffice it to note that phosphorus is a potent mediator of feed intake in most animals, including commercial poultry and swine.

While compensatory increases in feed intake may be observed for moderate deficiency of some nutrients such as amino acids or energy, diets formulated to be deficient in aP result in a substantial reduction in feed intake by the animal, further exacerbating the dietary insufficiency (Selle and Ravindran, 2007).

Thus, the addition of phytase to a diet with insufficient aP often results in increased feed intake and weight gain, with no obvious change in FCR (Selle et al., 2012).

Although phosphate release may not be the principal mechanism by which the superdoses of phytase elicit their benefit (Feedstuffs, Jan. 28), it is possible that the liberation of additional aP improves weight gain by further stimulating feed intake.

Trials have shown a relatively consistent response to the use of high doses of phytase in phosphorus-deficient diets, resulting in performance and bone ash improvements beyond the respective phosphorus-adequate positive control diets (Selle and Ravindran, 2007).

Furthermore, it is theoretically possible that phosphorus requirements are increased by super-dosing phytase in that animal growth is accelerated, and released inositol must be systemically re-phosphorylated for various secondary metabolic purposes.


Inositol liberation

The dose response curve for phytase (Feedstuffs, Jan. 28) shows only the release of aP from phytate and does not consider the accumulation of lower esters of inositol phosphate (IP) or the eventual release of free myo-inositol.

Few phytases de-phosphorylate phytate in a "linear" manner, i.e., systematically reducing each intact phytate (IP6) molecule to inositol and six free phosphates before moving on to the next IP6. Rather, most phytases reduce IP6 to IP4 until a critically low concentration of IP6 is reached and then degrade IP4 to IP3, IP2, IP1 and, eventually, free phosphate and myo-inositol (Wyss et al., 1999).

It is possible that the beneficial effects of super-dosing phytase are only observed when this secondary kinetic sequence is initiated by a low threshold of IP6 and IP5, which causes phytase to reprioritize to the lower esters, generating inositol in cooperation with the mucosal and/or systemic phosphatases.

This series of events is depicted in the Figure, which is based on kinetic data for degradation of sodium phytate by an Escherichia coli-derived phytase (Wyss et al., 1999). The reactive phases of phytate destruction occur in the following sequence: Phase 1 is the rapid destruction of IP6 and IP5 by phytase, yielding a moderate amount of aP as well as the majority of the "extra-phosphoric" effects such as calcium, sodium and certain amino acids. Phase 2 yields little or no calcium, sodium or amino acids but a modest amount of aP, predominantly from degradation of IP4 and IP3. Phases 3 and 4 are where inositol would begin to be generated through the concerted effort of exogenous phytase and the mucosal and/or systemic phosphatases.

Given sufficient time or a high dosage rate, most phytases will move through all four phases. However, in vivo time is limiting, and the environmental conditions in the gastrointestinal tract are not optimal for phytate solubility or phytase activity. Thus, in the animal's gastrointestinal tract, the only way to cycle phytate through all four phases is to superdose with phytase.

It is possible that 500 or even 1,000 FTU/kg of feed may only allow progression through phases 1 and 2, knocking out IP6 and IP5 (to release amino acids, calcium, phosphorus and sodium) and forming IP4. More than 1,500 FTU/kg may be required to progress the reaction to a more complete point, where inositol can be generated.

There will also be a difference among phytase sources in their ability to work effectively at these low substrate concentrations, and thus, even higher activity levels would be required for some phytases compared to others. This explains why, even though 1,500 FTU/kg will only yield a modest 0.02% aP beyond 1,000 FTU/kg, the benefits in animal performance may be substantial if 1,500 FTU/kg is required to degrade IP6 and IP5 completely and quickly enough to refocus the attention of phytase on the lower esters with sufficient urgency to generate free inositol.

Indeed, substantial growth-promoting effects of supplemental myo-inositol in broilers have been previously reported (Zyla et al., 2004) at inclusion concentrations similar to those that may be generated by complete degradation of dietary phytate. Cowieson et al. (2013) recently observed that the addition of 0.15% myo-inositol to a corn/wheat-based broiler diet resulted in an improvement in FCR of around five points, achieved through maintenance of bodyweight with reduced feed intake.

Mechanisms involved in superdosing phytase


The use of superdosing levels of microbial phytase in the diets of poultry or pigs results in increased feed intake (and commensurate weight gain) probably via an aP mechanism, whereas FCR may be improved via inositol liberation and phytate destruction (Table).

Within the U.S., the use of higher levels of an enhanced fourth-generation phytase is widespread, and performance enhancements are being observed in the field. Although the mechanisms are still not entirely clear, it is believed that these three components work together and contribute to the overall positive effects reported both in the literature and at the end user level.


Summary of the possible effects of phosphate release, inositol release and phytate destruction as contributors in response to superdosing phytase on the performance of broilers


Feed intake

Weight gain


Phytate removal

No effect

3-7% improvement

3-7% improvement

Phosphate release*

5-10% increase

5-10% increase

Limited effect

Inositol release**

Minor increase

3-4% increase

2-3% improvement

*Phosphorus-deficient diets.

**Effect of inositol on performance may be age related (weak in the neonate chick).



Cabahug, S., V. Ravindran, P.H. Selle and W.L. Bryden. 1999. Response of broiler chickens to microbial phytase supplementation as influenced by dietary phytic acid and non-phytate phosphorus contents. 1. Effects on bird performance and toe ash. Br. Poult. Sci. 40:660-669.

Cowieson, A.J., M.R. Bedford, P.H. Selle and V. Ravindran. 2009. Phytate and microbial phytase: Implications for endogenous nitrogen losses and nutrient availability. Worlds Poult. Sci. J. 65:401-418.

Cowieson, A.J., A. Ptak, P. Mackowiak, M. Sassek, E. Pruszynska-Oszmalek, K. Zyla, S. Swiatkiewicz and D. Jozefiak. 2013. The effect of phytase and myo-inositol on performance and blood biochemistry of broiler chickens fed wheat/corn-based diets. Poult. Sci. (under review).

Cowieson, A.J., P. Wilcock and M.R. Bedford. 2011. Super-dosing effects of phytase in poultry and other monogastrics. Worlds Poult. Sci. J. 67:225-236.

Liu, N., Y.J. Ru, A.J. Cowieson, F.D. Li and X.C. Cheng. 2008a. Effects of phytate and phytase on the performance and immune function of broilers fed nutritionally marginal diets. Poult. Sci. 87:1105-1111.

Liu, N., Y.J. Ru, F.D. Li and A.J. Cowieson. 2008b. Effect of diet containing phytate and phytase on the activity and messenger ribonucleic acid expression of carbohydrase and transporter in chickens. J. Anim. Sci. 86:3432-3439.

Liu, N., Y.J. Ru, F.D. Li, J.P. Wang and X.Q. Lei. 2009. Effect of phytate and phytase on proteolytic digestion and growth regulation in broilers. Arch. Anim. Nutr. 63:292-303.

Selle, P.H., and V. Ravindran. 2007. Microbial phytase in poultry nutrition. Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 135:1-41.

Selle, P.H., A.J. Cowieson, N.P. Cowieson and V. Ravindran. 2012. Protein-phytate interactions in pig and poultry nutrition: A reappraisal. Nutr. Res. Rev. 25:1-17.

Wyss, M., R. Brugger, A. Kronenberger, R. Remy, R. Fimbel, G. Oesterhelt, M. Lehmann and A.P.G.M. Van Loon. 1999. Biochemical characterization of fungal phytases (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate phosphohydrolases): Catalytic properties. Appl. Env. Microbiol. 65:367-373.

Zyla, K., M. Mika, B. Stodolak, A. Wikiera, J. Koreleski and S. Swiatkiewicz. 2004. Towards complete dephosphorylation and total conversion of phytate in poultry feeds. Poult. Sci. 83:1175-1186. 

Volume:85 Issue:26

Milk intake likely to keep decreasing

Milk intake likely to keep decreasing

Milk intake likely to keep decreasing
AMERICANS are drinking less and less milk — a trend that has been noted since the 1970s and has been the consequence of decreased milk drinking occasions rather than decreased portions, according to a new study by the U.S. Economic Research Service (ERS).

Based on data from the mid-1970s and 2008, Americans are drinking less milk now with their lunch and dinner meals than in the 1970s, which has reduced the number of milk drinking occasions (Figure 1), ERS said.

Furthermore, more recent generations have shown a greater reduction in milk drinking frequency, ERS said, reporting that Americans born in the 1990s consume milk less often than those born in the 1970s, who, in turn, consume less milk than those born in the 1950s.

It's likely that each successive generation will have fewer milk drinking occasions and will consume less milk than their parents, and milk consumption in the U.S. will continue to decline, according to the study.


'Difficult' trend

ERS said most Americans do not consume enough dairy products: The "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" recommends two cup equivalents of dairy products per day for children two to three years old, 2.5 cup equivalents for children four to eight years old and three cup equivalents for all older children and adults, but consumption has held steady at 1.5 cups for many years.

Americans are increasing cheese consumption, which means this decrease in dairy consumption is due to drinking less and less milk, consumption of which has declined from 0.96 cup in 1970 to 0.61 cup today, ERS said.

The study found that, between 1977-78 and 2007-08:

* The percentage of preadolescent children who did not drink milk on a given day increased from 12% to 24%, while the share who drank milk three or more times per day decreased from 31% to 18%, and

* The percentage of adolescents and adults who did not drink milk on a given day increased from 41% to 54%, while the share who drank milk three or more times per day decreased from 13% to 4%.

Despite industry and public efforts to encourage milk consumption, it will be "difficult" to reverse these trends, ERS said, and the amount of milk consumed is likely to continue to decline.


Generational trend

ERS noted that data indicate that there is a positive correlation between dairy industry milk promotions and milk consumption and between children's participation in school breakfast and lunch programs and milk consumption.

However, the agency said "cohort effects" apparently are exerting "a greater impact on consumption in the opposite direction."

Cohort effects are observed when members of the same generation make similar choices — including, in this matter, choices in food and milk consumption — that are different from the choices of people who are older, ERS explained.

As to cohort effects on milk consumption, ERS said Americans born in the 1960s are drinking 0.13 cup less whole milk and 0.28 cup less lower-fat milk per day than those born prior to 1930, while Americans born in the 1980s are drinking 0.16 cup less whole milk and 0.13 cup less lower-fat milk than those born in the 1960s.

Moreover, every generation has wider beverage selections available at restaurants and supermarkets — from bottled water to soft drinks and sport drinks — that increasingly compete with milk, ERS said.

This trend has been especially noticeable as quick-service restaurants have become more popular, ERS said.

Studies clearly show that the habit to drink milk forms in childhood, ERS said, and "individuals who drink milk at an early age are more likely to (continue drinking milk) as adults."

The ERS study is available at www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err-149.aspx.


Income trend

In its study, ERS also reported some data concerning what influences the frequency of milk purchases.

ERS, looking at 2007-08 purchases, found that conventionally produced, low-fat milk in 1 gal. containers were the most-often purchased milk product, accounting for 28% of milk purchases, while organic milk accounted for 3% of purchases (Figure 2).

ERS researchers also found that increases in household income and milk prices prompted increases in purchases of low-fat milk but also prompted increases in purchases of organic milk.

Generally, ERS said, demand for organic milk is more sensitive to income swings than is demand for conventional milk.

Volume:85 Issue:26

Livestock & poultry cash market comparisons, 7/1/13

Livestock &amp; poultry cash market comparisons, 7/1/13

Livestock and meat ($)

June 26

June 19

6 months ago

Year ago

Steers, Choice, carcass, 550-700 lb., cwt., Omaha





Steers, Choice, 1,050-1,200 lb., cwt. Okla/Texas





Feeder Steers, 600-700 lb., cwt., Oklahoma City





Lean Hogs, Carcass, Iowa-Minn. 167-187 lb.(1)





Feeder Pigs, 40 lb. National Direct Delivered(2)





SEW Pigs, 10 lb., National direct delivered (per head)





Choice Beef, cutout, cwt.





Pork Loin, 185 lb. 51-52% lean, cutout, cwt.(3)





Hog Corn Ratio





Steer Corn Ratio





Poultry and eggs (cents)





Chickens, Grade A, Fresh lb. Chicago





Hen Turkeys, Grade A, Frozen, lb., Chicago





Young Tom Turkeys, Grade A. Frozen lb. Chicago





Eggs, Grade A, Large, doz., Chicago





N/A: not available

A: average




(1) Replaces live hogs; live hogs are 0.755 of quote.
(2) Replaces Sioux Falls, 50-60 lbs. (2/26/07)
(3) National FOB plant, replaces national daily carlot.
Livestock, meat, poultry and egg prices from USDA.


Volume:85 Issue:26

DuPont opens Ukraine seed facility

DuPont opens Ukraine seed facility

DuPont opens Ukraine seed facility
REFLECTING optimism for the growth of grain and oilseed production in the Black Sea region, DuPont opened a seed production facility in Stasi, Ukraine, roughly 357 km east of Kiev.

The $40 million facility was operational for the 2013 and 2014 growing seasons, supporting increasing demand for Pioneer brand maize, sunflower and oilseed rape hybrids in the country, the company said.

"This investment demonstrates DuPont's ongoing commitment to help meet the world's growing demand for nutritious food," DuPont executive vice president James Borel said. "This facility, built in one of the most productive maize and sunflower growing regions of the world, will provide Ukrainian farmers with superior products to meet their needs."

The DuPont Pioneer facility has roughly 70 employees and produces, stores and distributes some 500,000 units of maize and sunflower seed. Coupled with a logistics facility built in Stasi two years ago, the facility supports 70 field sales agronomists in the country.

"This investment shows our commitment with the country," Jeff Rowe, regional director for DuPont Pioneer Europe, said. "We want to be recognized as a key player in developing the Ukrainian agriculture sector, but we cannot do that alone, and we look forward to collaborating with local stakeholders."

Outside investors such as DuPont are increasingly setting up shop in the country, particularly in its agriculture sector. According to government data, capital investment in Ukrainian agriculture tallied more than $307 million during the first quarter of 2013, an increase of more than 10% over the same period last year.

"Between 2000 — when investment levels in agriculture were at their lowest levels — and 2012, we have seen high annual growth rates," Ukraine First Vice Prime Minister Serghiy Arbuzov said, noting that the country is working to spur investment through transparency and public/private partnerships. "Investors look for those sectors of agriculture where there is a high level of profitability, export opportunities, high rates of scale and better terms of liquidity of investments."

Indeed, the grain sector has grown considerably over the past decade and is projected to continue doing so throughout the remainder of the current decade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) predicts that the area planted for grain production in the Ukraine will expand 20% by 2021, hitting 16.7 million hectares.

Yields are also expected to improve. ERS said maize yields are projected to increase 31.6% by 2021, and total production is expected to hit 26 million metric tons for 2013-14, according to the June "World Supply & Demand Estimates" from USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board.

With policies in the country increasingly favorable to the export of surplus grain (Figure) and to increased domestic livestock production, a February ERS report explains that conditions are ripe for a developing grain and feed industry to continue growing.

Volume:85 Issue:26