Unilis Agtech join Inarix to develop a new quality grain measurement solution

December 1st, 2020 – With an innovation approach, based on images analysis and artificial intelligence (AI), Inarix re-think the quality measurement of grains.

Unilis Agtech, a joint venture between Unigrains and Arvalis created in early 2020 to support young innovative companies in the field of agrotechnology, has signed a financial and technical agreement with Inarix. The ambition is to provide the grain sectors with a new high-performance tool to better evaluate, and therefore enhance, the qualities of cereals.

Image analysis and AI for a rapid and multi-criteria evaluation of plant production
Inarix, founded in 2018 by Pierre Chapelle, develops PocketLab, a mobile application that transforms a smartphone into a pocket laboratory allowing a quick analysis of the quality of plant productions via a simple photograph. The company’s core business is the development of artificial intelligence for biological analysis, freeing itself from time-consuming and often costly methods.

Since 2020, Inarix has been marketing a first module used to evaluate the degree of varietal purity of a batch of malting barley. In 2020, PocketLab has thus made it possible to analyse about 10 percent of French malting barley production for several agricultural cooperatives.

Many other modules are currently being developed: multi-species varietal characterisation, assessment of protein content, identification of mycotoxins, measurement of impurities, seed analysis, etc. They are developed in close partnership with the clients of the user sectors: malting, milling, starch production, seed industry… For several months now, the project has been extended to other agricultural sectors.

A financial and technical contribution to accompany the development of Inarix
The financial and technical agreement includes the strengthening of the company’s equity capital and the provision of services, notably to perfect the Inarix algorithms based on Arvalis’ cereal grain sample library, built up over a significant number of campaigns and representative of the diversity of French regions. Unilis Agtech will also mobilise its network of partners – and more widely the networks of Unigrains and Arvalis – to accompany Inarix in the deployment of its solution and projects.

Inarix is the first company to benefit from the support of Unilis Agtech, following its launch in early 2020. Endowed with 4 M€, Unilis Agtech’s ambition is to accompany about ten startups in order to promote the optimisation and adoption of innovative solutions for the production of crops.

Alexandre Biau, Managing Director of Unilis Agtech says, “Access to this type of solution, which is quick and inexpensive, can help to rethink quality assessment strategies, with more systematic tests for more efficient production chains. Inarix has already demonstrated its ability to successfully launch a first product on the market and has many opportunities for development. We are pleased to start this collaboration with Pierre Chapelle and his team.’

Pierre Chapelle, Founder and President of Inarix comments, “With Unilis Agtech, we have found an expert partner committed to the innovation and optimisation of new solutions such as ours. Beyond the financial and technical support – essential for our young company – and the access to the Unigrains and Arvalis networks, we are very proud to receive this mark of confidence and support from the French cereal industry which supports the relevance of our mission and our development projects.’

Visit the Inarix website, HERE.

Visit the Unilis website, HERE.

Alltech European Summer Harvest Survey shows some risks across the region

December 1st, 2020 – Weather patterns have been variable across Europe throughout the 2020 growing season and have had a direct impact on the presence of specific moulds and mycotoxins across different regions.

Mycotoxins are produced by certain species of moulds and are a concern for livestock producers due to their ability to influence feed quality and subsequent animal health and performance. Samples collected from across Europe as part of the Alltech European Summer Harvest Survey have been submitted to the Alltech 37+® mycotoxin analytical services laboratory, and analysis is indicating the presence of moderate to high levels of mycotoxin risk.

The results are based on 274 samples of barley, wheat, corn, corn silage, grass silage, alfalfa, haylage, grass, peas, oats, sunflower meal, triticale and soybean. These samples are collected from farms or animal feed production sites from 15 countries across Europe including Russia, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Estonia, Republic of Lithuania, Morocco, Greece, Belarus, Croatia and Kazakhstan, and offer a representative picture of the contamination risk in all regions, with an overall moderate to high risk. Samples have shown an average of 4.4 mycotoxins, with 99.6% containing at least one mycotoxin and 96.4% containing two or more mycotoxins. Fumonisins were found in 80.7% of the samples, while 74.5% contained type B-trichothecenes.

A noticeable trend in recent years is the growing presence of emerging mycotoxins. More than 75% of samples contained this group, which includes specific mycotoxins such as beauvericin, moniliformin, phomopsin A, alternariol and enniatin A and B. Zearalenone (ZEN), a mycotoxin that can have a significant impact on the fertility of most species groups, was detected in almost 7% of samples. Aflatoxin B1 (AfB1), a member of the Aspergillus species and a particularly harmful toxin, was detected in less than 7% of the samples that have been analysed — a percentage that is potentially lower than expected considering the dryer-than-normal conditions across much of Central and Eastern Europe this year.

”Overall, the current results indicate a moderate to high mycotoxin risk across Europe this year, and producers must remain aware of how the risk and impact will vary between different species and animal groups, with breeding animals and youngstock being more susceptible,’ said Dr Radka Borutova, European technical support manager with the Alltech Mycotoxin Management team. ‘We know that feeding even low-level contaminated feeds has been shown to impact animal health and performance, so even in lower-risk scenarios, producers should not neglect the need to guard against the threat of mycotoxins.”

Summary of results by region:
• Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Greece and Croatia): The results from this region show that 91.3% and 80.4% of all samples were contaminated with fumonisins and emerging mycotoxins, respectively. The average concentration of fumonisins was 1,195.88 ppb, a concentration able to harm the health and performance of pigs. More than 86% of samples contained fusaric acid, which is frequently found in different feedstuffs, mainly in corn. Fusaric acid gets into many mycotoxin interactions and has a synergistic effect with other mycotoxins like fumonisins and moniliformin. AfB1 was detected in less than 6% of the samples, and the maximum concentration of 8 ppb was found in one of the Spanish samples. The maximum concentration of deoxynivalenol (DON) was found in Spain in corn silage, and the concentration was 4,903.3 ppb.

• Central Europe (Germany, Hungary and Czech Republic): Samples show contamination of fumonisins of 86.7% and 73.5% with type B-trichothecenes. The average concentration of type B-trichothecenes was 463.5 ppb, a concentration able to harm the health and performance of pigs. More than 68% contained emerging mycotoxins, a group of with increasing relevance in the past few years. AfB1 was detected in less than 4% of the samples, and the maximum concentration of 3.6 ppb was found in one of the Hungarian samples. The maximum concentration of DON was found in the Czech Republic in corn silage with a concentration of 3,921 ppb.

• The Baltics and Eastern Europe (Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan): Of the samples analysed, 70.9% were contaminated with type B-trichothecenes, fumonisins and emerging mycotoxins. The average concentration of type B-trichothecenes was 454.9 ppb. None of the samples from Eastern Europe were contaminated with zearalenone, a mycotoxin that can have a significant impact on the fertility of most species groups. AfB1 was detected in more than 10% of the samples, and the maximum concentration of 27 ppb was found in one of the Lithuanian grass silage samples. The maximum concentration of DON was found in the Republic of Lithuania in corn silage, and the concentration was 4,970.5 ppb.

• Northern Europe (Denmark): The results from this region show that 94% and 92% of all samples were contaminated with emerging mycotoxins and type B-trichothecenes, respectively. The average concentration of emerging mycotoxins was 414.4 ppb. Interestingly, 6% of samples contained ergot alkaloids, while the average concentration was 695.4 ppb and the maximum concentration was 2,037 ppb, found in barley. AfB1 was detected in less than 2.5% of the samples, and the maximum concentration of 3 ppb was found in wheat harvested in Denmark. The maximum concentration of DON was found in Denmark in barley, and the concentration was 1,351.8 ppb.

The average levels of mycotoxins identified fall below the EU-recommended levels for each of the mycotoxins when assessed individually. Only 0.36% of samples exceeded EU allowed concentration of AfB1 (20 ppb) in feed ingredients (COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 574/2011. However, the risk level for productive species based on Alltech’s risk equivalent quantity (REQ) varies from moderate to high when the multiple-mycotoxin challenge is considered.

• Pig producers should be aware that the risk level based on the average REQ for breeding sows and young piglets is deemed to be high.
• When the mycotoxin contamination levels are applied to poultry, the mycotoxin risk for breeding birds is moderate, while in broiler birds, it is low to moderate.
• In ruminants, the results from the samples analysed so far indicate a low to moderate risk in dairy cows.

There was a notable difference in the mycotoxin contamination levels of large grains (corn) and small grains (wheat, barley, oats). The average number of mycotoxins detected in corn samples was 6.4, while in small grains, it was 3.6. This variance is reflected in the REQ and risk of feeding these ingredients to specific species and animal groups. For instance, in sows and gilts, this year’s corn samples represent a higher risk of mycotoxins, but when small grains are fed to the same animals, the mycotoxin risk is deemed to be lower.

Alltech will host a webinar with Dr Radka Borutova on December 9, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. CET.

Register for the webinar, HERE.

For more information and results from the 2020 Alltech Summer Harvest Survey visit the Alltech website, HERE.

Evonik launch e-business portal myAMINO

November 25th, 2020 – Evonik is expanding its customer service offering for its animal nutrition customers with a new digital portal called myAMINO. Through the new e-business portal, Evonik has brought together its digital customer activities and services and added two web stores.

myAMINO will become the first digital point of contact for customers, making interacting with Evonik as convenient and as efficient as possible. The launch of the myAMINO e-business portal marks an important milestone in Evonik’s digitalisation strategy to strengthen its animal nutrition business which is part of Evonik’s life science division nutrition and care.

Offering a digital customer experience, Evonik is taking the next logical step in the implementation of its system house strategy for sustainable animal nutrition – an innovation growth field in nutrition and care.

‘Fostering e-business is one of our main strategic goals,’ says Dr Dirk Hoehler, head of sales and e-business in the animal nutrition business line. ‘We want to make it as convenient as possible for our customers to contact us, find relevant information and process their orders’.

myAMINO offers customer access to products, services, information, training, contacts, partners and order management for animal nutrition.

Customers can register on the portal to become activated users. Then they can log in at any time and browse, order, call up analysis data, or track delivery data.

The online shopping on myAMINO allows customers to search Evonik’s core portfolio, for products like MetAMINO® by various categories, for example by type of packaging or animal species. They can obtain an overview of the range of products and services geared to their individual needs and place orders around the clock.

A second webshop makes it possible to order complementary products and services, such as laboratory equipment for amino acid analysis, online. The registration process in this webshop is straightforward and payment is possible via PayPal or credit card.

Visit the Evonik website, HERE.

Entering a new milling era with Bühler’s Arrius

November 20th, 2020 – Bühler has launched the Arius roller mill, which will make a big difference to increase product quality and profits in the milling industry.

Bühler informed that with the launch of Arrius, a fully integrated milling technology for milling wheat, durum, rye, barley, corn and spelled wheat, the milling industry will meet a brand new technology.

The launch was on a redesign of traditional milling methods that lie at the heart of the milling process. By redesigning each technology component, Bühler has produced an integrated and self-adjusting milling system that is a radical step forward in the way millers control the quality and consistency of their products. Other benefits include lowering energy costs, increasing personnel safety, rapid deployment, remote digital control, improved food safety, and reducing the initial expenditure required for facility investment.

These developments come as the milling industry faces a number of commercial challenges with customers demanding ever-increasing consistency and higher product quality. In a highly price sensitive and competitive market, even the smallest deviation in production parameters leads directly to a miller’s bottom line. In addition, the tightening of food safety regulations and the difficulties faced by millers in finding qualified personnel are another aspect of the difficulties.

Meeting these challenges will require greater automation than ever before. Arrius will play an important role as the milling industry evolves into autonomous mills that can self-adjust to optimize production parameters.

At the heart of the Arrius step change are the feed module and sensors on the rolls that provide greater control over the product flow and milling process. This means that Arrius can automatically adapt to the properties of the raw material. The double-sided sensors in the new roll group allow millers to continuously measure the grinding force of the rolls for the first time. This unique feature will allow the miller to closely control the milling process and thus optimize the product properties for their market.

Besides particle size distribution, starch damage is a parameter that can be affected more precisely than ever before. With Arrius, it is possible to better control the milling process of the product and, if necessary, increase starch damage by up to 10 percent.

Energy is a major cost factor for millers, so Arrius was also designed with an integrated drive and gearbox, resulting in energy cost savings of up to 10 percent.

The new benchmark in remote control and operational safety

Arrius’ new ease of use features include a remote application that can be installed on smartphones or tablets, where an operator can control all grinding parameters from anywhere in the mill’s network.

New food safety features include a feed module designed for total product discharge. The aerodynamic design and increased aspiration in the grinding chamber also reduce product deposits. The hygienic leveling feet supporting the machine are designed to increase food safety by providing total under-machine cleaning. An electronically lockable cover and hand guard provide a new benchmark in operational safety to protect personnel.

Watch Bühler’s work with Friessinger Mühle to develop Arrius:

Omas Industries to build milling facility in Central Europe with different technology

November 19th, 2020 – Omas Industries’ newly commissioned factory will be a food complex built in Romania’s Neamt region and will be operational in 2021.

The large 150 t / 24h milling facility will allow the milling flow chart to be changed according to the grain quality, which will allow the automatic production of different types of end products. All this thanks to flexible mill, direct drive (DD) and Omas drive system (ODS) technologies.

Omas Industries has managed to develop a special facility with distinctive elements that allow it to expand its finished product range with ease of management and cost reduction.

The new facility will be able to grind grains of different sizes and characteristics and produce three types of flour.

Thanks to its DD and ODS systems, Omas Industries can change the basic grinding parameters in roller mills during the grinding process. It can change not only the distance between rolls, but also other parameters such as working position and cutting speed. These are important factors in terms of changing raw material quality and meeting the changing needs of consumers.

Omas Commercial Director Pietro Barbalarga said: “We are proud of this technology and we are delighted to present this new technology to our customer.”.

Online Milling School 2nd term registrations started

November 18th, 2020 – Registration has started for the second term of the Online Milling School, which is organized by the cooperation of Milling and Grain and Progressus Agrischools and attracts great attention. Likewise, the training period, which will last for 12 weeks, will begin on December 2, 2020 and will be completed on March 17, 2021. Due to the participation from different continents and countries, attention was paid to periods such as Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year in order to ensure the participation of everyone easily.

In the first training period, students and participants attending 12 sessions were awarded a certificate of achievement in ‘Feed Milling Production Management’. Milling and Grain CEO Roger Gilbert and Progressus AgriSchools General Manager Yiannis Christodoulou stated that they were pleased with the intense interest.

Participants who missed one or two sessions for various reasons had the opportunity to complete the sessions later. 40 percent of the participants were awarded a certificate.

It has been taken attention during the trainings to give informations which the participants can use during their daily work. In the Question and Answer section, the participants also have the opportunity to ask questions about the problems they experience and find solutions.

The course is $ 30 per session.

On the other hand, the Online Milling School provided the opportunity to sponsor companies to reach millers operating in different continents of the world. Due to the fact that fairs, conferences and seminars could not be held during this epidemic period, companies that could not reach potential markets find the opportunity to close this gap thanks to the Online Milling School.


There are different options such as Silver, Gold and Platinum for companies that want to be sponsor. For those who would like to have detailed informations about to be a sponsor, we kindly ask you to contact Tuti Tan (tutit@perendale.co.uk).

For information about the Online Milling School, you can visit the website.

Anpario reduced energy consumption by ninety percent thanks to improvements

November 17th, 2020 – Feed additives manufacturer Anpario plc has invested in a number of improvements to its UK-based manufacturing facility.

The project, which started earlier this year, consists of three phases. A new transfer system between mixer and packaging system in one of the key production lines; installation of a fully automated pallet handling system as well as an innovative spiral round portal that will increase storage capacity in the field.

“The goal of the project is to further increase operational efficiency while reducing the company’s carbon footprint,” said Shane Bailey, director of operations at Anpario. “For example, the new transfer system has reduced energy consumption by up to 90 percent while transferring products from the mixer to the packer, and half the amount of waste generated from the operation of this line within the factory. The cost was 500 thousand GBP.”

“The upgrade not only reduces the environmental impact, but is much more efficient, with the upgraded line running up to eight times faster than the previous system. It is one of a series of measures and improvements that focus on increasing output capacity for our products, including said.

The investment resulted in other benefits for Anpario, including the development of quality assurance objectives and the improvement of the health and safety of the operations team. The project also supports the wishes of the “Green Team”, made up of individuals from each department, who share the company’s goal of minimizing the impact on the environment.

The final phase of the project is planned to be completed by the end of 2020.

You can visit the website for more detailed information about the company.

Rich Tavis Joins BinMaster

November 9th, 2020 – Rich Tavis has joined BinMaster’s sales team as vice president of sales for the Southeastern United States. He will build BinMaster’s growing line of point and continuous bin level sensors, inventory management software, and advanced wireless and connectivity solutions while providing localised service in the region.

Mr Tavis will also support BinMaster’s distributor network in the Southeast, providing product training and local customer sales call support. Throughout his twenty-plus years supporting the needs of processing plants, Mr Tavis has extensively consulted with many industries including mining, food, plastics, chemical, and wood to match customers with the appropriate equipment.

After graduation from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Mr Tavis got his start in industrial equipment at BinMaster’s corporate office in the late 1990s where he served as an application specialist and product manager for a period of five years. Mr Tavis went on to work for a large multinational corporation in their bulk handling equipment group managing independent rep groups and 30 direct employees.

Mr Tavis then served as regional sales manager for a large level measurement equipment manufacturer in a role where he managed a group of independent representative organisations.  There he gained extensive experience in complex RFQs working with engineering firms and corporate engineering departments. For the past eleven years, Mr Tavis has been instrumental in providing processing solutions for a firm representing twenty lines of bulk material handling and industrial instrumentation in South Carolina.

‘BinMaster has an aggressive growth plan that encompasses both strengthening our product portfolio and growing sales in regional markets with localised support. Additionally, as BinMaster’s product line expands and our software and wireless technology continues to evolve, BinMaster needs experienced people like Rich to execute our solutions-based strategy,’ said Scott Hudson, executive vice president of sales and marketing for BinMaster. ‘Rich is a strong and strategic addition to BinMaster’s service-oriented, consultative sales team with the product knowledge that will give BinMaster a competitive advantage,’ added Mr Hudson.

Visit the BinMaster website, HERE.

Prediction from FEFAC about compound feed production

November 9th, 2020 – 2020 EU compound feed production has been adversely affected by the spread of animal diseases and is indirectly impacted by COVID-19 due to a shift in consumer demand for products of animal origin.

EU compound feed production (EU 27 + UK) for farmed animals1 in 2020 is estimated at 161,4 mio. t., a decrease of -2.2 percent compared to 2019, according to forecast data provided by FEFAC members. All main feed categories are set to decrease, mainly as a result of the combined indirect impact of COVID-19 affecting consumer demand for products of animal origin and the direct effects of the spread of animal diseases (African Swine Fever, Avian Influenza).

Cattle feed production, which is estimated to decrease by -2.9 percent compared to the previous year, is suffering most from the COVID-19 measures applied during the first and second waves, in particular the closure of the HORECA chain (Hotel/Restaurant/Catering). The decreased demand for more expensive cuts of meat, like veal, fresh meat and added valued dairy products, have impacted the whole supply chain. Farmers have reduced usage of compound feed in their feed ratios, in order to reduce milk output and slowing growth of livestock. This was only partially compensated by rising demand in Eastern Europe where drought conditions led to poor forage harvests.

Concerning EU pig feed production, a decrease by -1.1 percent has been forecast. Spreading African Swine Fever triggered the Chinese import ban of pig meat from Germany. Spain can only partially replace Germany in exporting to China, due to limited production capacity. A knock-on effect of the ban is that pig meat initially destined for export to China will stay in Europe, impacting pig feed production. On top of ASF, some Member States, (e.g. The Netherlands), are depopulating their pig herds in order to lower agricultural environmental emissions.

Poultry feed production, is set to decrease by -2.7 percent after several years of steady increases. The poultry sector reacted to the COVID-19 lockdown measures launched in spring 2020 by reducing its production, leading to significantly lower demand for poultry feed. Following a period of partial recovery during the summer months, a further decrease is expected by the end of the year, mainly in Romania, Ireland and Spain. Avian influenza spreading in several parts of Europe will hamper any recovery on the ground. Poultry feed production may possibly lose its position as leading segment EU industrial compound feed production to pig feed, for the first time after more than a decade, as a result of a continuous downward trend.

1 From 2016 on, FEFAC no longer includes dry petfood production in its statistics, considering that a large part of the production was missing in national statistics.

Visit the FEFAC website, HERE.

Register now for the final FAMSUN webinar

November 9th, 2020 – FAMSUN, with the support of Milling and Grain magazine, is hosting THE FINAL in a series of four, 2-hour Webinars

Feed Production – Management and Efficiency
It is timely that the feed industry consider some of the implications COVID-19 has had on the feed production processes and how output may have been impacted and what up-to-date technologies can do to improve process management and efficiencies

Next week will see the final is a four-part series of weekly Webinars making up one on-line conference. Each week, for the past three weeks, we have presented two speakers to address the following areas of interest and Wednesday November 11, 2020 at 15:00 Beijing time we will present ‘Challenges and Opportunities.’

October 21 – Technology and Production Processes
October 28 – Formulations and Future Protein Sources
November 4 – Drying Technology & Bio-security in the Feed Mill
November 11 – Challenges and Opportunities

Webinar start time
Beijing time 15:00 on Wednesday October 29, 2020
(That is 07:00 London and 08:00 Western Europe)
Please plan to login 15 minutes early. Registrations are limited.

Topic 1: Providing a Backdrop to the Meaning and Purpose of Investing in a Digital Factory
by Robert Strathman, President, Famsun-USA Design and Engineering Division
Rob Strathman graduated from Kansas State University in 1995 with a BSc degree in Feed Science and Management. He joined Famsun-USA Design and Engineering, an R&D Division of the Famsun Group, in 2016 where he currently serves as President.

Mr Strathman has focused much of his energy modeling and optimising critical factory performance functions and advancing extruded food and feed processing technology during his 25-year career. He developed an industry-first digital factory in a collaborative effort, leading critical functions that delivered world-class manufacturing performances within five petfood production facilities.

Topic 2: Optimising the Feed Manufacturing Process
by Dr Charles Stark. The Jim & Carol Brown Professor in Feed Technology, Kansas State University, USA
Dr Charles Stark is the Jim and Carol Brown Professor in Feed Technology at Kansas State University. Dr Stark received his degrees in animal sciences (BS) and grain science (MS PhDat Kansas State University.
Before joining K-State he was an assistant professor in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University for seven years. Dr Stark also spent 12 years in the animal feed industry with responsibilities in feed manufacturing, quality assurance and plant operations. Over the course of his career he has published 45 journal articles, seven extension bulletins, four book chapters and 102 abstracts. He has also been an invited speaker at 29 conferences in 16 different countries.

Dr Stark has a joint faculty appointment in the Departments of Grain Science & Industry (75%) and Animal Sciences & Industry (25%). He serves as the faculty coordinator of the new O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center and Cargill Feed Safety Research Center. A primary focus of the O.H. Kruse Feed Technology Innovation Center is the training of the next generation of feed industry leaders through student internships and extension workshops.

His extension program provides outreach in the areas of feed safety, quality assurance and feed processing technology to the citizens of Kansas, the United States and people around the world. The emphasis of his current research is the testing of new products and feed manufacturing processes that allow animal agriculture to efficiently produce a safe food supply of meat, milk and eggs.

Why join us
There are many Webinars taking place across our industry and across the globe right now. They are proving to be an ideal means of imparting information from the experts who have it, to those in industry who need to understand and apply it.

Milling and Grain is at the forefront of this technology transfer and is proud to have bee asked to partner FAMSUN – as its Webinar’s Partner and Moderator – in its goal to share technical knowledge and information as widely as possible.

We look forward to welcoming you onto the platform this coming Wednesday – November 11, 2020 – for the last in four weekly webinars. I hope you enjoy the third in our four-part Conference series.

You can register for our last remaining Webinar now. Four Webinars make up a complete one-day conference with some eight speakers on a range of vital topics confronting the feed industry globally.

We are offering all those who have registered an opportunity to catch up with webinars they have missed using our on-demand service from November 12-29, 2020. You can revisit those you have missed using your Zoom registration link

You’ve met last two speakers now hear from them directly by registering, HERE.